The German Bundesstelle für Seeunfalluntersuchung or Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation has completed the report into the fire onboard the Yantian Express. We covered the Fire and response to the Yantian Express as it happened, and Once it finally made Halifax with remaining Cargo.
the report has cleared up a few details. First the Crew was transferred to the tug Smit Nicobar, and then transferred to the Dalian Express for transport to Halifax. That cleared up the question of how they got to Halifax.
The Tug Atlantic Enterprise showed up in Halifax Jan 14. It turns out it was enroute to the scene, but was damaged by weather, and came to Halifax instead. the Smit Nicobar had to render some assistance to the tug.
The Fire began in a container of Coconut Charcoal in bay 11, row 7. Bay 11 would be the Forward 20′ container in Bay 12. since the ship turned stern to wind, the spread of the fire forward is not surprising. The container was misdeclared as Coconut Pellets. Charcoal can Self heat, and it is believed this led to the fire. Coconut pellets are basically balls of coconut fiber.
The report indicates Coconut-based pyrochar is characterized by the fact that it burns at a high temperature (600 °C to 650 °C) and produces a very low amount of smoke