An explosion on board the German ship MSC Flamina has killed two crewmembers and left three others seriously injured. The boat was adrift in the mid-Atlantic, approximately half way on its journey from Charleston, South Carolina to Antwerp, Belgium.
The explosion, at about 10 a.m., appears to have originated in the ship’s hold. Apparently, crew members were battling a fire in the cargo hatch but lost control; the flames caused the explosion. The cause of the initial fire is still under investigation. All 25 crewmembers were forced to abandon ship; 24 were picked up by a large crude carrier that was travelling in the vicinity, while one was missing and presumed dead.
At the time of the rescue, four crewmembers were injured and taken to hospital in Azores, an island chain about 930 miles west of Portugal. One of the crew members died of his injuries, two others are in stable condition and a third was transferred to Portugal for further care. The rest of the crewmembers remained onboard their rescue ship, the DS Crown, and are expected to arrive at the port of Falmouth in the United Kingdom on July 18.