Fire dies down on ship carrying luxury cars

Fire dies down on ship carrying luxury cars

The ship, Felicity Ace, which was travelling from Emden, Germany, where Volkswagen has a factory, to Davisville, in the US state of Rhode Island, burns more than 100 kilometres from the Azores islands, Portugal, on Feb 18, 2022. (Photo: Reuters)
The ship, Felicity Ace, which was travelling from Emden, Germany, where Volkswagen has a factory, to Davisville, in the US state of Rhode Island, burns more than 100 kilometres from the Azores islands, Portugal, on Feb 18, 2022. (Photo: Reuters)

LISBON: A fire which swept through a cargo ship carrying thousands of luxury cars and adrift off the coast of Portugal's Azores islands has lost its intensity, probably because there is little left to burn, a port official said on Monday.

The Felicity Ace, carrying around 4,000 vehicles including Porsches, Audis and Bentleys, some electric with lithium-ion batteries, caught fire in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday.

The 22 crew members on board were evacuated the same day.

"The fire has subsided in recent hours," João Mendes Cabeças, captain of the nearest port in the Azorean island of Faial, told Lusa news agency, saying there was probably little combustible material left to burn.

Cabeças told Reuters over the weekend lithium-ion batteries in the electric vehicles were "keeping the fire alive", adding that specialist equipment was required to extinguish it. It was not clear whether the batteries sparked the fire.

He also said the fire was spreading closer to the ship's fuel tanks.

"Our concern has been with pollution since the ship has large amounts of fuel on board and car batteries but so far there are no hotbeds of pollution," Cabeças told Lusa.

As the fire's intensity ebbs, firefighting teams and technicians might be able to board the vessel to prepare towing it to either Europe or the Bahamas, Cabeças said.

Volkswagen, which owns the brands, did not confirm the total number of cars on board and said on Friday it was awaiting further information.

It did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on the next steps to identify the cause of the fire.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (5)

Protests across China as anger mounts over zero-Covid policy

Angry crowds took to the streets in Shanghai early on Sunday, and videos on social media showed protests in other cities across China, as public opposition to the government's hardline zero-Covid policy mounts.

15:26

Newborn baby found in rubbish bin, suspected mother identified

CHON BURI: A newborn baby boy was found dumped in a trash can at a housing estate in Bang Lamung district early on Sunday by a resident.

14:48

Malaysia PM Anwar eyes targeted subsidies for low-income groups

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is reviewing its government subsidies programme, aiming to direct money toward low-income groups, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said on Sunday, prioritising the rising cost of living as he takes office at a time of slowing growth.

14:08