© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A brand new brand of German carmaker Volkswagen is unveiled on the VW headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer
BERLIN/LISBON (Reuters) -A ship carrying round 4,000 autos, together with Porsches, Audis and Bentleys, that caught fireplace close to the coast of the Azores will likely be towed to a different European nation or the Bahamas, the captain of the closest port instructed Reuters on Friday.
Lithium-ion batteries within the electrical vehicles on board the automobile provider Felicity Ace have caught fireplace and the blaze requires specialist tools to extinguish, captain Joao Mendes Cabecas of the port of Hortas mentioned.
It was not clear whether or not the batteries first sparked the hearth.
“The ship is burning from one finish to the opposite… the whole lot is on fireplace about 5 metres above the water line,” Cabecas mentioned.
Photos offered by the Portuguese maritime authority confirmed extreme burns on the bow and alongside the 200-metre-long 200 meters (220-yard-long) aspect of the ship, which in accordance with Refinitiv knowledge was inbuilt 2005 and might carry 17,738 tonnes of weight.
Towing boats had been on route from Gibraltar and the Netherlands, with three as a consequence of arrive by Wednesday, Cabecas mentioned. He added the vessel couldn’t be towed to the Azores as a result of it was so massive it could block commerce on the port.
A 16-person salvage group from Smit Salvage, owned by Dutch marine engineer Boskalis, was despatched to the ship to assist management the flames, Boskalis mentioned.
The Panama-flagged ship, owned by Snowscape Automotive Carriers SA and managed by Mitsui O.S.Ok. Strains Ltd, was travelling from Emden, Germany – the place Volkswagen (DE:) has a manufacturing facility – to Davisville in america, based mostly on the Maritime Visitors web site.
Mitsui O.S.Ok. Strains Ltd and Smit didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
The 22 crew members on board had been evacuated on Wednesday, when the hearth broke out, with nobody damage, Portugal’s navy mentioned in a press release.
Round 1,100 Porsches and 189 Bentleys had been on board, spokespeople for the automobile manufacturers owned by Volkswagen mentioned. Audi, one other Volkswagen model, confirmed a few of its autos had been additionally on the ship however didn’t state what number of.
Volkswagen didn’t verify the entire variety of vehicles on board and mentioned it was awaiting additional info.
YouTuber Matt Farah, whose automotive evaluation channel “The Smoking Tire” has greater than 1,000,000 followers, mentioned on Twitter (NYSE:) he was contacted by a automobile seller who mentioned the Porsche he ordered was aboard the ship.
“My automobile is now adrift, probably on fireplace, in the course of the ocean,” Farah tweeted.
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