Firefighters injured in Florida vehicle carrier explosion

Several people were injured in an explosion on board Höegh Xiamen, a Norway-flagged vehicle carrier, near Blount Island, Jacksonville, USA, on 5 June.

fire on vehicle carrier
Photo: USCG

The ship’s seventh deck caught fire at around 16:00 local time, shortly after Höegh Xiamen completed loading operations, vessel operator Höegh Autoliners said.

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department were immediately sent to the scene to contain the fire.

Approximately three hours after firefighters first responded to the fire, the explosion occurred, injuring several firefighters. They have been hospitalized.

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department/Twitter

There are no injuries to any of the 21 crew members, who have all been evacuated from the vessel, according to the vessel operator.

“Höegh Autoliners has activated its emergency response team and is working closely with all necessary authorities to contain the incident. Our priorities at this time are to secure the vessel and ensure the preservation of the local environment,” the company said in a statement.

There are no reports of any pollution. A 500-yard safety zone has been established around the M/V Höegh Xiamen. The cause of the fire is under investigation, the USCG said in a separate statement.

The 12,250 dwt vehicle carrier was built in China in 2010.

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