Container ship breaks in half, sinks, burns

Here's a gallery of photos showing an enormous container ship breaking in two at the middle, and then the stern section sinking. The bow of the ship — the Mitsui O.S.K. Lines's MOL Comfort — was towed away, but burst into flames and broke free of its tow, off the coast of Gujarat, India.

On June 17, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines' MOL Comfort began suffering from severe hogging and broke in two while underway from Singapore to Jeddah with a load of 7,041 TEUs. The crew escaped in life rafts and picked up by another merchant vessel… On June 27, the stern section began taking on water and sank with an estimated 1,700 containers and 1,500 metric tons of fuel oil. These photos sent to gCaptain were taken over a five minute period… On July 2, the MOL Comfort's bow section broke free from its towing wire while in "adverse" sea conditions. Crews were able to reconnected and continue towing. Four days later, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines reported that on July 6, a fire broke towards the rear of the bow section of the MOL Comfort, and fire fighting efforts commenced.

The whole set is pretty amazing — container ships are one of my prime fascinations, and to see these huge packetized lumps of consumer good being tossed around like children's blocks is terrifying.

A Look Back: MOL Comfort Incident Photos [25 PHOTOS]

(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)