One person died on Wednesday after a container ship with 27 crew members, including 13 Indians, on board caught fire in the Arabian Sea near Agatti Island in Lakshadweep. Four crew members are still missing.

The ship, which is owned by the Danish business conglomerate AP Moller-Maersk, had left Singapore on March 1 and was travelling to Suez. The Indian Coast Guard’s Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Mumbai received a distress call from the ship, Maersk Honam, at 9.45 pm on Tuesday.

In a statement on Wednesday, Maersk Line said 23 crew members were evacuated from the distressed vessel, however, one of them – a member from Thailand – succumbed to the injuries he sustained in the fire.

“The seriousness of the event has escalated and everyone in Maersk is moved by this,” Maersk Chief Operating Officer Soren Toft said. “We are in contact with the family of the deceased and our thoughts and condolences go to them.”

Maersk Line said 22 crew members were enroute to Sri Lanka and provided with medical attention. “We are doing our utmost in this tragic situation to care for all evacuated colleagues and continue the intense search and rescue operations ongoing for the four crew members currently reported missing,” Toft said.

The search for the remaining four crew members is under way. “At this stage we have no reason to believe the fire was caused by an error in the ship’s construction,” a company spokesperson added.