After days of explosion on the cargo ship CSSC Cape Town in Gibraltar, 2 injured seafarers still remain critical while repairing of the ship is almost done.
4 crew of the 19 member Hong Kong registered vessel were injured in the blast. Of them, 2 were critically injured and were taken to the Seville Burns Unit. They are still fighting for their life. The Gibraltar Government confirmed that repairing of the ship is now complete.
However, the ship will be in Gibraltar waters as investigation continues. The blast happened in the forecasts of the vessel where the anchor was present.
The explosion damage has required the ship to be kept on the east side of Rock in order to repair it, revealed Gibraltar Port Captain, Manuel Tirado.
“The repairs were done on the eastern side and due to the fact that there was an explosion, we couldn’t take a risk, neither the port or the captain of the vessel, to drop anchor as the explosion originated in the area of the anchor”, said Tirado who refused to comment on the cause of the blast.
Technicians have assessed the ship and repaired the anchor.
Ship Free To Go After Investigation
“Late evening on Saturday the vessel was able to anchor on the western side, they are taking bunkers and there is an investigation ongoing,” Tirado said, mentioning that the ship is free to go after the investigation.
“I have no further update, but what I can say is that they were in a critical condition when they left and they are still in a critical condition,” Tirado added.
Waiting for New Seafarers
At present the vessel is waiting for new crew to fill the vacant positions left by the injured seafarers.
Gibraltar Port Authority has thanked all agencies and authorities for prompt action.
“The Gibraltar Port Authority extends its gratitude to all agencies, authorities and individuals who have assisted in dealing with this incident,” the GPA said.
“The GPA also extends its gratitude to the Port of Algeciras for its kind offer of assistance in dealing with the casualties sadly involved in this incident”, GPA added.
Chinese Embassy Looking Into the Matter
On Sunday, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in the UK told reporters it has been in contact with the relevant authorities in Gibraltar and Spain.
Chinese Embassy in the UK is in contact with Gibraltar and Spain authorities to repatriate and treat the injured Chinese crew members. The Hong Kong flagged vessel has an all Chinese crew.
“We attach great importance to the report that the explosion of the Cape Town freighter caused four Chinese crew members to be injured,” the Chinese Embassy spokesman said.
“We contacted the competent authority of the local Government of Gibraltar as soon as possible, and requested to spare no effort to treat the injured and to find out the cause of the accident as soon as possible.It is understood that the main body of the ship was undamaged and the accident caused four Chinese crewmembers to be injured, two of which were slightly injured and stayed on board for treatment”, said the embassy spokesman
“The other two crew members were seriously injured and sent to a hospital in Seville, Spain for rescue.”
“We will continue to pay close attention to the progress of the incident and work with the Chinese Embassy in Spain to assist relevant companies in their follow-up work.”
For its part, the GSD said it regretted the injuries sustained by four crew members of the CSSC Cape Town.
Damon Bossino, Shadow Minister for the Port, said “For now, we should all take comfort from the fact that there were no fatalities.”
“Our port and other authorities are to be thanked and congratulated for having responded efficiently with cooperation from the Spanish side and as a result, those crew members who were unfortunately injured are now receiving adequate specialist medical attention”, he added
Meanwhile, the opposition has urged the government to look into the matter and determine why such an incident happened on a new vessel. CSSC Cape Town has built-in 2020.