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One killed in cargo ship fire – with electric car suspected as the cause

One person has been killed and several injured after a major fire on a cargo ship in the North Sea off the coast of the Netherlands.

Boats and helicopters were used to get the 23 crew members off the ship after they failed to put out the blaze, the Dutch coast guard said.

Footage taken from the shore showed a long plume of grey smoke drifting over the sea from the ship.

The ship, the Fremantle Highway, is a vehicle carrier that was transporting nearly 3,000 cars, 25 of them electric, from the German port of Bremen to Port Said in Egypt.

An electric car was the suspected source of the blaze, a coastguard spokesperson said.

They said the ship was still burning.

It was sailing 27km (17 miles) north of the island of Ameland, around 180km from Amsterdam, when the fire started, a statement said.

Pic: Nico Gudema

Coast Guard helicopters involved in the rescue operation on the ship Fremantle Highway  at The Hague Airport.

The injured crew were taken by helicopter to medical facilities on the mainland.

They suffered smoke inhalation or were hurt during the evacuation, a spokesperson said.

The 199m ship was successfully towed out of shipping lanes early on Wednesday, Dutch broadcaster NOS reported.

Emergency services were still present near the blazing ship, which sails under a Panamanian flag.


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