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Fire caused by blasts breaks out on ship south-east of Aden, agencies say

March 4, 2024 at 4:57 pm

A view of the replacement vessel ‘Nautica’ arriving at the port of Al Hudaydah, Yemen on July 17, 2023 [Mohammed Hamoud – Anadolu Agency]

A fire caused by nearby explosions broke out onboard a vessel south-east of the Yemeni port city of Aden on Monday, the UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency and British security firm, Ambrey, reported.

A first explosion was reported at a distance off the vessel’s port quarter and a second explosion caused damage to the vessel, leading to a fire which the crew are dealing with, the British maritime agencies said.

No casualties were reported.

“Coalition Forces operating in the area are investigating,” UKMTO said.

The US has formed an international coalition aimed at safeguarding commercial traffic in the Red Sea region from attacks by the Houthi group. The Houthis say they are carrying out the attacks in solidarity with Palestinians in the Israel-Palestine war in Gaza.

Ambrey had reported that a container ship was struck and had issued a distress signal, saying the ship was Liberia-flagged and Israel-affiliated, en route from Singapore to Djibouti. Neither agency disclosed the vessel’s name.

“The vessel was listed as operated by the Israeli company, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services. This may have been an out-of-date affiliation, as the vessel was not listed on other public sources,” Ambrey added.

Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd., commonly known as ZIM, is a publicly held Israeli international cargo shipping company.

The container ship continued to transmit an AIS signal after the incident, Ambrey said.

The Rubymar cargo ship sank on Friday, becoming the first vessel lost since the Houthis began their attacks in November.

READ: US destroys Houthi UAVs in Red Sea in ‘self-defence’