Containership capsizes in port of Antwerp

Early this morning a containership capsized in the port of Antwerp. According to local sources it is the Repubblica di Genova owned by Grimaldi Lines.

The cause of the accident is being investigated. Antwerp port authorities reports all crew evacuated in time and there are no casualties.

The vessel was lying in the Verrebroekdok and was loaded with containers and cars. Karel Verbeke, head of Grimaldi Belgium, told the VRT radio network that about 100 containers and cars had fallen overboard and that retrieving them “will take a few days.”

Port of Antwerp Captain Jan Persi said the 216-meter long vessel slowly rolled onto its starboard side in a dead end dock early in the morning. He said the ship began taking on water and that the captain ordered the crew to evacuate. The white-and-yellow vessel lay resting on its side, part of its hull above the waterline in the dock.

Fast facts ‘Repubblica di Genova’
built: 1988 at Fincantieri C. Mare(NA) Italy
216.08m LOA
30.4m beam
Cargo capacity: 3.400 cars and 1.316 TEU

Update: 09 March 2007

Traffic in the Verrebroek Dock resumed yesterday afternoon after a survey vessel sent out to look for sunken containers and other obstacles finished its search.

Around the capsized ship a security zone of approximately 800m stays in force. The three other vessels that were lying in the Dock at the time of the accident have now been given permission to sail.

The Italian vessel had just completed the loading of containers and cars and was about to sail for Luanda, the capital of Angola.

The cause of the accident is still unclear. No environmental damage was reported.