An OOCL-operated boxship has initiated a massive container crane collapse at the Taiwanese port of Kaohsiung.

The 8,540-teu neo-panamax OOCL Durban (built 2011) initially collided with the 2,940-teu YM Constancy (built 2021) before its accommodation unit hit a crane causing it to collapse and topple another nearby crane.

One shore worker was injured in the incident and two crane operators were trapped in the debris. The crane operators were freed after an hour and are understood to be safe.

Video footage of the incident shows port workers running for their lives as the cranes crash onto containers.

In what appears to be a navigational misjudgement, while the vessel is under pilotage, the OOCL Durban was heading for berth No 66 when it collided with the YM Constancy, which was already alongside at berth 70.

The OOCL Durban was empty when the incident happened.

The OOCL Durban is owned by Japan’s Nissen Kaiun and the YM Constancy is owned by Taiwan’s Yang Ming Marine Transport.

OOCL said it is maintaining close communications with the shipowner and relevant authorities. An OOCL spokesman said: “As the incident is still being investigated, we have nothing further to add to our statement at the moment.”

The resulting insurance claims are set to be significant, with giant container cranes valued at tens of millions of US dollars — and shipowners scheduled to call at the port are now likely to experience significant delays.

Owners' third-party liability claims are usually met through protection and indemnity insurers. The OOCL Durban has P&I cover with the North P&I Club, while the YM Constancy is entered with Britannia P&I.

The incident is likely to add to significant delays to the container trades. The world's container ports are already experiencing congestion caused by high cargo volumes and, previously, the grounding of the 20,388-teu Ever Given (built 2018) in the Suez Canal on 23 March.