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Maersk container catches fire, 4 missing

A huge merchant vessel - Maersk Honan - carrying over 7,500 containers, caught fire in the Arabian Sea off the Lakshadweep coast. There were 27 crew members on board, of which 23 have been rescued. Massive efforts have been launched by the Indian Coast Guard to look for the four missing crew members and contain the fire. Of the four missing, one is an Indian. The Singapore-flagged 330 metre-long container ship Maersk Honam had left Singapore on March 1 and was heading to Suez. The Mumbai-based Maritime Rescue Coordination of the ICG received a distress message at 9.45 pm on Tuesday night. The MRCC immediately alerted all the merchant ships near the location, through the satellite-based communication network, the International Safety Net (ISN). The ship was at a distance of 570 km (340 nautical miles) from Agatti in Lakshwadeep Islands. From Mumbai, the reported distance is nearly 1,200 km (647 nautical miles). "Search and rescue operations have been launched," Inspector General KR Nautiyal, the Coast Guard Commander (West), told reporters in Mumbai. Simultaneously, ICGS Shoor, an offshore patrol vessel with fire-fighting equipment, patrolling near Lakshadweep Islands was diverted for assisting the distressed vessel.
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