A burnt-out cargo ship carrying hundreds of luxurious automobiles, together with Porsches and Bentleys, sank on Tuesday off the Portuguese Azores archipelago almost two weeks after it caught hearth, a port official stated.

Joao Mendes Cabecas, the captain of the closest port on the island of Faial, advised Reuters the Panama-flagged Felicity Ace had sunk as efforts to tow it started on account of structural issues attributable to the hearth and tough seas.

“When the towing began… water began to return in,” he stated. “The ship misplaced its stability and sank.”

The blaze on the ship carrying round 4,000 automobiles made by Volkswagen Group from Germany to the USA, broke out on Feb. 16. The 22 crew members had been evacuated on the identical day. Learn full story

Cabecas stated no oil leak had been reported up to now however there have been fears the gas tanks may very well be broken because the vessel lay on the backside of the Atlantic at a depth of round 3,500 metres (2.17 miles).

Volkswagen, which stated final week the injury to the automobiles was lined by insurance coverage, confirmed the ship has sunk. Insurance coverage specialists stated the incident might lead to losses of US$155 million.y

(Reporting by Catarina Demony, Extra reporting by Christoph Steitz, Enhancing by Andrei Khalip, Alexandra Hudson)