Burned-out car carrier being towed to Dutch port


AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A burned-out car carrier off the Dutch coast is being towed to port for salvage, Dutch authorities said on Thursday.

The Fremantle Highway, which was travelling from Germany to Egypt when the blaze broke out on July 26, will be towed from its current location north of the islands Ameland and Schiermonnikoog to nearby harbour Eemshaven, the Dutch public works and water management ministry said in a statement.

“Most of the ship has now been inspected and there are no indications that there is still fire on board,” Rijkswaterstaat said, adding that the situation on board is now stable.

The fire aboard the Panama-registered ship, which was carrying new cars, resulted in the death of an Indian crew member and the injury of seven who jumped overboard to escape the flames.

Safety experts will remain on board the ship during the 64 km (40 mile) towing operation, which is taking place in difficult weather.

Ship charter company “K” Line said on Friday there were 3,783 vehicles on board the ship, including 498 battery electric vehicles.

An investigation has been launched into the cause of the fire, notably about reports that it started in the battery of an electric car.

(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Kim Coghill)



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