The 121 metre long cruise ship ORIENT QUEEN was berthed at Beirut Port, Lebanon on Tuesday 4th August, 2020 opposite of the massive explosion and has partially sunk to the pier where she was berthed.
The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that information from the Philippine Embassy in Beirut indicated that two seafarers from the ship died in the explosion. The seafarers were among a group of 13 Filipino reported to be on the ORIENT QUEEN when the blast occurred. As of the latest update, 10 of 11 workers initially reported missing have been located and are now with the management of the shipping company Abou Merhi Cruises, which operates the ORIENT QUEEN . Among those located, most suffered minor injuries while one is in critical but stable condition. The other seafarer is still missing, the Department said.
Tuesday’s blast is believed to have originated in a warehouse containing approximately 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate which arrived at the port i aboard the Moldovian flag general cargo ship RHOSUS. The initial blast badly damaged the ORIENT QUEEN which began listing and sank overnight. Aerial photos and other media on Wednesday 5th August, 2020 showed the ship capsized at its berth.
ORIENT QUEEN was built in 1989 at Union Naval de Levante,Valencia, Spain with capacity for 300 guests and 153 crew members as VISTAMAR. Due to the Pandemic Disease COVID-19 there were a skeleton crew and no passengers on board. She arrived in Beirut on Saturday 27th June from Kulayyah, Makkah al Mukarramah, Saudi Arabia.
VISTAMAR at Grand Harbour , Malta in 2007 and 2010.
Watermarked Photos are by Capt. Lawrence Dalli. Do not use these images without my permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com
Published – Thursday 6th August, 2020