LISBON, Portugal (AP) — A big cargo vessel carrying automobiles from Germany to america sank Tuesday within the mid-Atlantic, 13 days after a hearth broke out on board, the ship’s supervisor and the Portuguese navy mentioned.

The Felicity Ace sank about 400 kilometers (250 miles) off Portugal’s Azores Islands because it was being towed, MOL Ship Administration in Singapore mentioned in an announcement. A salvage staff had put out the hearth.

The 200-meter-long (650-foot-long) vessel listed to starboard earlier than going beneath, the ship’s supervisor mentioned.

The Portuguese navy confirmed the sinking, saying it occurred outdoors Portuguese waters. A Portuguese Air Pressure helicopter evacuated the 22 crew members when the hearth first broke out, setting the ship adrift.

Ocean-going tugboats with firefighting gear had been hosing down the ship’s hull to chill it.

It wasn’t clear what number of automobiles have been onboard the ship, however vessels of the Felicity Ace’s dimension can carry not less than 4,000 autos.

European carmakers declined to debate what number of autos and what fashions have been on board, however Porsche clients in america have been being contacted by their sellers, the corporate mentioned.

“We’re already working to switch each automobile affected by this incident and the primary new automobiles will probably be constructed quickly,” Angus Fitton, vice chairman of PR at Porsche Vehicles North America, Inc., advised The Related Press in an e mail.

The ship was transporting electrical and non-electric autos, in response to Portuguese authorities. Suspicion on what began the hearth on Feb. 16 has fallen on lithium batteries utilized in electrical autos, although authorities say they haven’t any agency proof in regards to the trigger.

Authorities feared the ship may pollute the ocean. The ship was carrying 2,000 metric tons (2,200 tons) of gasoline and a couple of,000 metric tons (2,200 tons) of oil. It may possibly carry greater than 17,000 metric tons (18,700 tons) of cargo.

The Portuguese navy mentioned in an announcement that only some items of wreckage and a small patch of oil was seen the place the ship went down. The tugboats have been breaking apart the patch with hoses, it mentioned.

A Portuguese Air Pressure aircraft and a Portuguese navy vessel are to stay on the scene looking out for indicators of air pollution.

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