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Fire engulfs France Telecom-Orange ship off Namibia

By , ITWeb
Namibia , 10 Aug 2012

Fire engulfs France Telecom-Orange ship off Namibia

The crew of a France Telecom-Orange ship, carrying out repairs on the Sat3-Safe undersea broadband cable off Namibia's coast, were forced to abandon the vessel after a fire broke out on board.

The incident occurred in the Atlantic ocean on 8 August, according to France-Telecom Orange.

“Despite the crew's efforts to control the fire, the decision was made to abandon the ship at around 8pm local time,” the company said in a statement.

“All 56 crew members were safely recovered by a Namibian fishing vessel without injury or incident. The crew is currently located at the Namibian port, Walvis Bay and will be repatriated in the coming days.

“This incident has no immediate impact on submarine cables in the area, which will continue to function normally,” the statement further read.

The cause of the fire has not yet been established. But company officials say a full investigation is planned to be launched as soon as the vessel has been recovered.

The group further says it is working with the Namibian authorities to ensure minimal environmental impact during the recovery operation.

France Telecom-Orange operates six cable ships worldwide. Four vessels are dedicated to maintenance services in the Mediterranean basin, the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

Meanwhile, two vessels are specialised in laying new telecommunications submarine systems globally.

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