Nine missing after containership collides with tug, barges


A containership operated by Brazilian shipping company Mercosul Line was involved in a serious collision with a tug pushing barges down the Amazon River on Wednesday, with nine people reported missing from the tug.

The head-on collision occurred around 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 2, near the town of Óbidos in Pará, Brazil, as the 210-meter MV MERCOSUL SANTOS was heading up river to the port of Manaus.

Nine of the eleven people on the tug are missing after the tug and some of the barges sank. A search and rescue operation continued throughout the day on Thursday.

The tug was reportedly pushing nine barges when the collision occurred. Some video following the collision shows a barge embedded across the bow of the containership.

The 2,478 TEU Mercosul Santos is one of four vessels operated by Mercosul Line, a Maersk Group company operating in the Brazilian cabotage market.

In June, Maersk reached a binding agreement to sell Mercosul Line to French rival CMA CGM, although the deal is still subject to regulatory approval as well as the closing of Maersk’s acquisition of Hamburg Süd, which is anticipated in Q4 2017. As of now, MV Mercosul Santos is still listed on the website of Maersk Line.
Mercosul Line said it was investigating the accident.


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