Two injured in gas cylinder explosion

Two crew members of the ‘Lily Regal’ cargo ship were injured yesterday in a gas cylinder explosion on board the vessel.

Lily Enterprises told local media that the two men – a Maldivian and a foreigner – were welding on deck when a gas cylinder inside a container exploded.

The Lily Regal was docked near the commercial harbour in Malé when the incident occurred.

Contrary to media reports, Lily Enterprises said the gas leak did not cause a fire on board the ship.

While the Maldivian has since been released after treatment of minor injuries at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital, the expatriate is reportedly undergoing treatment for a leg fracture.


Asian Express crew return to Maldives

The Maldivian crew of the MV Asian Express cargo ship, which sank off the coast of India last week, returned safely to the country yesterday (June 15), the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) has confirmed.

MNDF Spokesperson Colonel Abdul Raheem said today that all 18 Maldivian nationals on the ship’s 22-member crew had returned to the country “in good health”.

The MV Asian Express, a 35 year-old Lily Enterprises vessel, was travelling from Port Md Bin Qasim in Karachi to Male’ when it encountered engine trouble, reportedly after being fuelled with contaminated oil, according to Indian media reports.

In addition to engine trouble, the vessel suffered a two-to-three-metre vertical crack on its starboard side below the waterline and a failed communication system before sinking.

The ship’s owners yesterday told local media that they had decided to sell the 35 year-old ship just before the incident occurred.

“We decided to sell the boat not because of its condition, but due to its small size and high maintenance cost. An Indian living in Dubai has offered to buy it,” Ahmed Saleem, shipping manager of Apollo Holdings, was quoted as saying in Haveeru.

After its crew had been rescued, the vessel sank with its cargo of 4000 tons of cement and 2400 tons of sand.

The MV Asian Express was carrying aggregate imported from Pakistan, after a shortage began impacting the Maldives’ construction industry.

Aggregate was previously imported to the Maldives from India under a special quota, however this was temporarily revoked on February 15 amid a breakdown in the country’s relationship over the government’s eviction of Indian infrastructure giant GMR and ongoing mistreatment of Indian nationals working in the country.


Four foreigners arrested loading 240 bottles of alcohol into Lily van

Four foreigners carrying 240 bottles of alcohol were captured by police on Friday night near the T-Jetty area in Malé.

They were caught loading nine cases of alcohol into a van registered to Lily Enterprises.

The van and the alcohol are now under police custody and the foreigners are under arrest.

Police would not give any details as the case is still under investigation.