The number of boxes lost at the sea before the 4,253 TEU ZIM Kingston caught fire off Victoria in British Columbia stands at approximately a whopping 109 containers, a lot more than the initial report of 40 containers.
Read The Initial Coverage: ZIM Kingston Containership Catches Fire, Five Sailors Remain Onboard While Sixteen Evacuated
109 containers were were found to be missing, by the investigators, while two containers laden with hazardous goods (potassium amylxanthate) remain in the waters off the coastline of British Columbia, as reported earlier, said the Canadian Coast Guard on Wednesday.
Several containers have also made their way to the shore, as many were washed ashore in a remote inhabited area situated at the north end of the Vancouver Island.
The operation to recover the lost containers will begin as soon as the fire onboard the vessel is fully extinguished. Further, an environmental team is also set to respond to any marine pollution which might occur in the near future.
The Canadian Coast Guard said on Twitter, “Once the ship is secured, Transport Canada inspectors will inspect the ship and then direct it to a port (not determined yet) for unloading and any further inspections. There may be changes to this process depending on the results of each step.”
Excluding the two containers containing hazardous goods, the others are laden with general cargo such as toys, furniture, clothing, automotive and industrial parts, said the Coast Guard.
The ship poses a potential environmental hazard, as it has been expelling toxic fumes ever since the fire broke out. The vessel was reportedly laden with at-least 52,080 kilograms of potassium amylxanthate (a mineral processing agent used in the mining industry), which was stored inside the two containers which went overboard. David Boudinot, the President of Surfrider Foundation Canada, an environmental organization said, “This is extremely concerning. The ship and containers are very close to Victoria, BC, and a big storm is forecast to hit tonight. We are worried this may be yet another environmental disaster.”