Napier Port ship fire: crew back on board after blaze

A large fire aboard a ship at Napier Port (New Zealand) forced the evacuation of crew during their 14-day Covid-19 isolation period. As explosions rang out, and acrid smoke billowed, locals took cover inside.

Emergency services were called to the fire on the Kota Bahagia, late last week. A large black cloud of smoke and pockets of flames, could be seen coming from the ship, and an ‘unreal’ number of explosions were heard by those close by according to the New Zealand Herald.

The exact cause of the fire, and the damage caused by it, has yet to be announced. The ship had been unloading containers at the time the fire started, a witness says. A total of 19 fire engines attended the blaze.

A Napier Port spokeswoman said everyone was thankfully “safe and accounted for”.

A witness said the ship had wind turbines aboard.

Local Bryan Edwards told the New Zealand Herald that his newly purchased freeze dryer was on the ship.

“We’re told our cargo stuff is right under where the fire is. It’s disappointing to be honest.”

A witness said people at the Bluff Hill lookout, which provides a panoramic view of the port, initially packed the viewing platform to watch before thinning out as they started coughing.

Police wearing masks urged the public to stay away from the lookout, warning that the fumes could be toxic.

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