The Zim Kingston container ship erupted into flames as it was headed to Vancouver, officials said on Saturday. The ship has also spilled cargo in rough seas, reports said.
The fire was reported to the coast guard at around 11pm as it expelled toxic gas off Canada’s Pacific coast. The fire that broke out from containers full of mining chemicals has been suppressed but still smoldering by early Sunday afternoon, according to officials of the Canadian Coast Guard.
“The ship is on fire and expelling toxic gas,” the Canadian Coast Guard said in a statement on its website, adding that the vessel remains anchored off the coast of British Columbia.
“An emergency zone has been established at Constance Bank within 1 mile of the anchored container ship Zim Kingston,” the agency said.
VICTORIA, British Columbia — At one point on Saturday night, the fire engulfed 10 of 40-foot containers aboard the MV Zim Kingston. Given that water would not put out a chemical fire, the strategy was to let it burn down while using tugboats to spray water to keep surrounding containers and the ship’s hull cool, said JJ Bricket, chief of the Ontario environmental response team of the Canadian Coast Guard.
It sailed from Busan, Korea before reaching Constance Bank, where the ship is anchored at the moment. It had lost 40 containers in rough seas about 5 miles from Victoria’s shore and about 17 miles from the United States.
It remains unclear as to what caused the cargo ship boarding 52,000 kg of chemicals to be set ablaze. At least ten crewmates have been evacuated.
The Zim Kingston (IMO: 9389693, MMSI 249474000) was en route to the port of Vancouver, Canada. The container ship was built in 2008 and currently sails under the flag of Malta. (HMP
Featured image: Containers aboard the MV Zim Kingston are on fire near Victoria. /Credit: Victoria News