Fire on cargo ship carrying Porsche, Audi, Bentley finally dies down
Fire on the cargo vessel that was carrying around 4,000 luxury cars near the coast of Portugal's Azores islands has finally died down. The ship named Felicity Ace that caught fire last Wednesday was carrying luxury cars from carmakers such as Porsche, Audi and Bentley, and the lithium-ion batteries of electric cars onboard the ship was keeping the fire alive.
While the 22 crew members on board the ship were evacuated the same day the ship caught fire, firefighters kept struggling to shut down the fire. "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, Reuters reported. He added that probable reason that fire lost its intensity is because there was little combustible material left to burn.
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Over the weekend, Cabeças had informed Reuters that lithium-ion batteries in the electric vehicles were "keeping the fire alive", adding that a specialist equipment was required to extinguish it. It was also not clear whether the batteries sparked the fire in the first place.
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There were also chances of the fire reaching 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 had said.
Now as the intensity of fire is ebbing, firefighting teams and technicians could be able to board the vessel and prepare for towing it to either Europe or the Bahamas. Meanwhile, Volkswagen, which owns the brands on cars on board, has not yet confirmed the total number of cars on board.
The damage caused to the vehicles and their condition will also only be known once technicians are able to uncover the vehicles and analyze the situation.