Lithium batteries caused the fire onboard Cosco Pacific
In light of the unexpectedly fire in Cosco Pacific's cargo hold containers, authorities came in a conclusion of the causes that started the fire. Specifically, China Cosco Shipping has identified that the the main reason was a spontaneous combustion of misreported lithium batteries cargo.
According to the company, the fire begun from a container operated by Wan Hai Lines. The cargo of the lithium batteries inside the container which was loaded from Nansha and destined for Nhava Shevaby, had been falsely declared as spare parts and accessories and caused fire.
The personnel onboard managed to put the fire under control as they used the cargo hold’s CO2 suppressant.
For the moment the cargo's extent damage still remains unclear. Thankfully, no injuries were reported for the vessel's crew.
The Chinse-flagged containership remains moored at Colombo Port in order to be fully inspected before the beginning of its voyage.
Concluding, as the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code) presents, batteries, alkaline, lithium etc. have a corrosive character which transforms them to dangerous goods. In that case they have to be very carefully and properly declared to avoid a container fire.