Porsches among 4,000 cars on fire on ship

Firefighters continue to struggle to put out a fire that broke out on Wednesday on a vessel carrying thousands of luxury cars, which is adrift off the coast of Portugal’s Azores islands.

Felicity Ace‘s cargo is said to be some 4,000 vehicles including Porsches, Audis and Bentleys.

The ship caught fire in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday and the 22 crew members were evacuated on the same day.

“The intervention (to put out the blaze) has to be done very slowly,” João Mendes Cabeças, captain of the nearest port in the Azorean island of Faial, told Reuters. “It will take a while.”

Lithium-ion batteries in the electric vehicles on board are “keeping the fire alive,” says Cabeças.

Cabeças says the teams can only tackle the fire from the outside by cooling down the ship’s structure as it was too dangerous to go on board. They also cannot use water because adding weight to the ship could make it more unstable, and traditional water extinguishers do not stop lithium-ion batteries from burning.

Images courtesy of Portuguese Navy
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