The Cairns Post

Burning ship is spewing toxic gas


MONTREAL: The Canadian Coast Guard has evacuated 16 people from a burning container ship that is expelling toxic gas off Canada’s Pacific coast, but said there was “no safety risk” to those onshore.

The Zim Kingston is anchored off the city of Victoria in British Columbia in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which marks the maritime border between Canada and the US, according to shipping tracking website MarineTraf­fic.

It had been bound for Vancouver when the flames erupted on board, with the fire reported to the coast guard about 11pm local time on Saturday, CBC News reported.

“The ship is on fire and expelling toxic gas,” the Canadian Coast Guard reported in a navigation­al warning posted on its website.

Later, a statement on the Coast Guard’s Twitter account said 16 people had been evacuated from the Zim Kingston “after a fire broke out in 10 of the containers”.

“The fire remains a dynamic event and an incident command post has been set up to manage the situation,” the statement, which was released early on Sunday, said.

It added that first responders were mobilising to fight the fire and recover a number of containers that had broken away from the ship.

“Currently, there is no safety risk from the fire to people onshore,” the tweet read.

“However, the situation will continue to be monitored.”

On Sunday (Monday AEDT), the Coast Guard said an emergency zone around the ship had been expanded to two nautical miles, up from one nautical mile the day before.

“Due to the nature of chemicals on board the container ship, applying water directly to the fire is not an option,” the Coast Guard said, adding that a tugboat had instead sprayed cold water on the hull.

Later, however, the vessel’s management company, Danaos Shipping, said in a statement that the incident had been caused by “excessive listing due to extreme weather”, and indicated that the fire had been “contained”.

“No injuries were reported. The fire appears to have been contained and Danaos has commission­ed a salvage & fire extinguish­ing agency to come on board in order to ensure that conditions are appropriat­e for the safe return of the vessel’s crew,” the company’s statement added.

The Coast Guard reported that the ship was carrying more than 52,000kg of highly flammable chemicals located in two of the shipping containers that are were on fire, according to CBC News.

 ?? ?? The burning cargo ship Zim Kingston off the Canada coast.
The burning cargo ship Zim Kingston off the Canada coast.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia