MAERSK Line has confirmed human remains have been discovered from three of four crew members missing from Maersk Honam, the box ship that caught fire last week in the Arabian Sea.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce that the human remains of three of the four missing crew members after the fire… have been found on board the vessel,” the company said in a media release.
“Given the time passed and the severe fire damages of the vessel we must conclude by now that we have lost all four colleagues who have been missing since the fire.”
Company chief operating officer Søren Toft offered his “heartfelt condolences” to the families.
“We share their sorrow and (will) do our utmost to support them in this devastating time,” Mr Toft said.
Maersk says a thorough search of the ship is continuing but a search and rescue mission at sea has come to a halt.
The search and rescue operation began after Maersk Honam sent out a distress signal and several container ships diverted to the area to help with the search.
Maersk says the medical conditions of the evacuated crew members have progressed positively.
“Our colleagues that were evacuated to local hospitals in varying conditions of health are improving and we are now preparing to bring them back to their families as their condition allows,” Maersk Line chief technical officer Palle Laursen said.
The India Marine Police is understood to be conducting an investigation and is to interview the crew.
Meanwhile specialised firefighting vessels are still at the scene, with salvage operations led by Smit Salvage and Ardent.
“Maersk Line is cooperating with the salvors and has two marine engineers onsite, working closely with Smit and Ardent,” Maersk stated.
“A full investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the fire and the impact to the vessel and cargo.”