Container ship crashes into gantry crane at Busan port

A “K” Line ultra-large container ship, Milano Bridge, demolished a gantry crane in the Port of Busan and hit two others. Credit: Still taken from YouTube video posted by FullAvante

A 13,870 teu “K” Line ultra-large container ship has collided with multiple STS gantry cranes and another ship while berthing at Busan New Port, South Korea.

Milano Bridge was reported to be under pilot and proceeding to berth seven at Busan New Port at the time of the incident. Videos filmed at the port showed the ship approaching its berthing area very quickly, first colliding with crane No 85 causing it to collapse over Milano Bridge’s stern across its empty starboard quarter. Four other cranes were pushed off their tracks and temporarily taken out of commission.

Delivered in 2018 from Imabari Shipbuilding in Japan, Milano Bridge is owned and operated by “K” Line as part of the Japanese ocean carrier consortium ONE. The ship is 366 m in length overall.

According to Korean media, the crane operator was slightly injured and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

An investigation into the cause of the accident is currently under way. The vessel is understood to have just left drydock for repairs following a collision with another vessel some months ago.

This is the third gantry crane collision in 12 months. In January 2019, the boom of a gantry crane dislodged and fell onto the Evergreen container ship Ever Summit at Port of Vancouver. Reports suggested that the vessel snagged the crane when docking at the GCT Vanterm terminal, dislodging the stowed boom, and causing it to smash into the top row of containers at the aft end of the ship. A number of containers were damaged as a result.

Then, in December 2019, the 9,326 teu container ship APL Mexico City broke free of its moorings at the Port of Antwerp and crashed into a DP World STS gantry crane. The crane’s dramatic collapse caused damage to the ship and quay.