LISBON, Portugal (AP) — A big cargo vessel carrying vehicles from Germany to the US sank Tuesday within the mid-Atlantic, 13 days after a fireplace 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 workforce had put out the hearth.

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

The Portuguese navy confirmed the sinking, saying it occurred exterior 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 tools had been hosing down the ship’s hull to chill it.

It wasn’t clear what number of vehicles have been onboard the ship, however vessels of the Felicity Ace’s dimension can carry a minimum of 4,000 autos.

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

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

The ship was transporting electrical and non-electric autos, based on 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 concerning the trigger.

Authorities feared the ship might 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 could 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 airplane and a Portuguese navy vessel are to stay on the scene looking out for indicators of air pollution.

Copyright 2022 The Related Press. All rights reserved.