LISBON, Portugal — A burning automotive transport ship drifted within the mid-Atlantic on Thursday after the massive vessel’s 22 crew members have been evacuated because of the blaze, the Portuguese navy stated.

Delivery within the space was warned that the 650-feet-long Felicity Ace was adrift close to Portugal’s Azores Islands after the crew have been taken off on Wednesday, Portuguese navy spokesman Cmdr. José Sousa Luís stated.

The Felicity Ace can carry greater than 18,700 tons of cargo. Usually, automotive transport ships match hundreds of automobiles on a number of decks of their maintain.

Volkswagen Group stated in a quick assertion the Felicity Ace was transporting to the U.S. automobiles that the German automaker produced. The corporate declined to touch upon what penalties the incident may need for U.S. clients or the VW Group.

The ship’s operator, Japan’s Mitsui O.S.Okay. Traces, stated in an e mail to the AP it couldn’t present details about the cargo.

A Portuguese navy ship sailed to the car transporter, which was crusing from Emden in Germany to the port of Davisville within the U.S. state of Rhode Island, based on on-line vessel trackers. A navy assertion stated the hearth was nonetheless burning and confirmed {a photograph} of huge clouds of white smoke billowing out.

The navy ship was to test whether or not the cargo vessel was in peril of sinking or inflicting air pollution, Sousa Luís informed The Related Press.

The ship’s proprietor is looking for an ocean-going tug, however the Felicity Ace is unlikely to be towed to a port in Portugal’s Azores Islands due to its dimension, Sousa Luis stated.

The crew have been taken by helicopter on Wednesday to Faial island on the archipelago, about 100 miles away, and are staying at a resort there. None of them was damage.