• Lithum-ion batteries in electrical automobiles conserving blaze alight
  • Towing boats en route subsequent week, salvage crew on ship
  • Crew unhurt and evacuated on Wednesday – navy

BERLIN/LISBON, Feb 18 (Reuters) – A ship carrying round 4,000 automobiles, together with Porsches, Audis and Bentleys, that caught hearth close to the coast of the Azores might 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 automobiles on board the automobile service Felicity Ace have caught hearth and the blaze requires specialist gear to extinguish, captain Joao Mendes Cabecas of the port of Hortas mentioned.

It was not clear whether or not the batteries first sparked the fireplace.

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“The ship is burning from one finish to the opposite… every thing is on hearth about 5 metres above the water line,” Cabecas mentioned.

Footage offered by the Portuguese maritime authority confirmed extreme burns on the bow and alongside the 200-metre-long 200 meters (220-yard-long) facet of the ship, which in response to Refinitiv information was in-built 2005 and might carry 17,738 tonnes of weight.

Towing boats have been on route from Gibraltar and the Netherlands, with three because of arrive by Wednesday, Cabecas mentioned. He added the vessel couldn’t be towed to the Azores as a result of it was so huge it will block commerce on the port.

A 16-person salvage crew 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.Okay. Strains Ltd (9104.T), was travelling from Emden, Germany – the place Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) has a manufacturing facility – to Davisville in america, primarily based on the Maritime Visitors web site.

Mitsui O.S.Okay. Strains Ltd and Smit didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The 22 crew members on board have been evacuated on Wednesday, when the fireplace broke out, with nobody harm, Portugal’s navy mentioned in an announcement.

Round 1,100 Porsches and 189 Bentleys have been on board, spokespeople for the automotive manufacturers owned by Volkswagen mentioned. Audi, one other Volkswagen model, confirmed a few of its automobiles have been additionally on the ship however didn’t state what number of.

Volkswagen didn’t verify the entire variety of automobiles on board and mentioned it was awaiting additional info.

YouTuber Matt Farah, whose automotive assessment channel “The Smoking Tire” has greater than 1,000,000 followers, mentioned on Twitter he was contacted by a automotive supplier who mentioned the Porsche he ordered was aboard the ship.

“My automotive is now adrift, presumably on hearth, in the midst of the ocean,” Farah tweeted.

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Reporting by Victoria Waldersee and Christina Amann in Berlin, Catarina Demony in Lisbon and Jonathan Saul in London; Further reporting by Christoph Steitz; Enhancing by Miranda Murray, Jane Merriman and Jonathan Oatis

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.