Nova Scotia

Fire-damaged container ship Yantian Express likely not coming to Halifax

A spokesman for owner Hapag-Lloyd says there's no estimated time of arrival for the vessel to any port yet, but said the container ship is under tow with slow speed heading southwest toward more favourable weather.

Hapag-Lloyd spokesman says there's no ETA for any port, but vessel is under tow heading south

Smoke can be seen coming from the deck of the Yantian Express on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. The photo was taken by Midshipman Cameron Brunick who was aboard a merchant vessel as part of his shipboard training at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. (Cameron Brunick)

A fire-damaged container ship in the Atlantic that was once Halifax-bound is now slowly being towed southwest toward more favourable weather conditions.

Tim Seifert, a spokesman for Hapag-Lloyd, told CBC News in an email there is no estimated time of arrival for the Yantian Express at any port.

Although the ship itself has no destination listed, the tugboats pulling it have indicated their destination is Freeport, Bahamas.

The fire was discovered aboard the vessel Jan. 3 and crew members were evacuated to other ships. None of the Yantian Express's eight officers and 15 seafarers were injured.

The vessel, which was travelling from Sri Lanka via the Suez Canal, was originally scheduled to arrive in Halifax. But the fire broke out on board about 1,900 kilometres southeast of Nova Scotia. Due to the fire, Canadian legislation required it submit a request for a place of refuge before it could come into a Canadian port.

The company submitted that request and Transport Canada says it is still reviewing it. 

With files from Brett Ruskin

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