MSC Lorena

Bomb scare diverts MSC Lorena from Antwerp

A criminal investigation is underway regarding a bomb threat on board a containership identified as MSC Lorena, the Dutch police confirmed.

MSC Lorena, Wikimedia commons/public domain

The vessel was diverted from the Port of Antwerp following a threatening phone call saying that a bomb would explode if the ship docked in the port, according to local media reports.

The 4,800 TEU vessel was en route from Dakar, Senegal to Antwerp when it received the call. Following the incident, the captain of the vessel was told by the police not to proceed with the voyage but make a U-turn on the Scheldt river.

The Panamian-flagged Panamax containership, built in 2006 and operated by MSC, altered its course and anchored at Vlissingen out of precaution.

Both the Dutch and Belgian police are looking into the threat. The crew of the vessel can remain on board the vessel while the ship remains at anchor.

“On 22 December 2022 the container ship MSC LORENA, while en route to the port of Antwerp, followed instructions from Belgian authorities to wait at anchor in open water as a precautionary measure due to a reported safety concern. MSC remains in contact with the Belgian and Dutch authorities and the vessel will only continue service when instructed to do so by the authorities,” MSC said in a statement.

The Port of Antwerp is yet to provide Offshore Energy with a statement on the matter.