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15 people flee The Escape cargo ship after engine room catches fire in Baltic Sea

After the fire in its engine room, fifteen people fled a Dutch-flagged container ship.

It was travelling between Lithuania, Lativa and the Baltic Sea in the early hours of the morning when crew abandoned it in the Gulf of Riga off the Latvian capital.

Crew members attempted to put out the flames but failed. The ship’s master decided to abandon ship and evacuate the crew.

The Escape container vessel, which measures 168m long (551ft), was loaded with cargo. It weighed 17,000 tonnes. Cor Radings, a spokesperson at JR Shipping, stated that the cargo contained “all kinds of goods”.


It isn’t clear, however, if the vessel was carrying hazardous material.

Radings stated that it was likely, but could not confirm that “as evidently a vessel that is this large with containers on board will usually also have [hazardous] cargo.”

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He said, “A salvage firm has been contracted to respond and secure the ship from the ongoing incident.”

Crew managed to escape the accident-free situation and board Kairit, a nearby ship that is currently taking them to safety in Riga Bay.

Lithuanian fire service personnel were dispatched from Klaipeda, equipped with two tugboats for fire fighting.

It is unknown what caused the fire.


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