VLCC crashes into crane at port of Antwerp after drifting suddenly to starboard

Container ship APL Mexico City (IMO 9632210) broke from her moorings at the PSA terminal in the Waasland Port in Antwerp, went adrift and allided with a 43 metre-high gantry crane, which collapsed under the force of the impact.

Strong winds caught the ship after the mooring ropes broke, causing her to drift sideways to the west side of the dock where the crane of DP World stood at berth 1702.

Tugs tried unsuccessfully to get the 110,000 gt VLCC under control. The crane, on the DP World Pier, was totally destroyed, partially ending up in the water, while some debris was hanging over the quayside.

Only maintenance crew were in the crane, and they managed to get away safely.

All activities on both sides of the Deurganck dock were stopped after the accident. The APL Mexico City had arrived at 11:40 and berthed at the container handling company MPET on quay 1742. Container handler DP World and CEPA, the employers’ organization for port workers, confirmed that there were no injuries.

Eventually six tugs and a pilot on board managed to get the VLCC under control and at 15:40 the container ship was berthed at the Antwerp Gateway Terminal.

The zone of the accident was evacuated. The APL Mexico City also suffered damage in the crash.

A second ship, the MSC Anchorage, also appeared to be in danger of breaking loose in the strong winds. A tug pushed against her to hold the ship at berth.

2014-built, Singapore-flagged, 109,712 gt APL Mexico City is owned by CMB Ocean Leasing Co Pte Ltd care of manager APL Co Pte Ltd of Singapore. ISM manager is CMA CGM International Shipping of Singapore. It is entered with North of England Club on behalf of APL Co Pte Ltd.

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