Fire erupted on the cargo decks of car carrier Silver Sky at the port of Antwerp, Belgium. The vessel was docked at quay 340 at Sixth harbor dock in the port, loading second hand cars for African market, when one of the vehicles inflamed. The flames spread to the whole compartment and engulfed another vehicles in vicinity. The fire alarm was raised and the accident was reported to the local authorities. At the scene of the burning car carrier were dispatched several shore firefighting teams and two tugs. The shore teams poured with water the port board of the vessel, while two tugs are cooling the starboard. After several hours the fire was put under control without putting in danger the terminal and nearby vessels. The firefighting continue, as the teams will need more time to completely extinguish the flames.
The fire originated in one of the car decks. It is presently unknown how many vehicles were on fire and the damages will be assessed after further inspection. The fire caused a lot of smoke in the terminal, but residents in municipality were no affected. However, authorities asked them to close windows and doors due to health safety reasons.
The local authorities started investigation for the accident and monitor carefully the environment around the burning vessel. There were no injuries and no water pollution reported. All the crew were evacuated on the terminal. They will board the vessel during the inspection and further assessment of the damages, just after the flames are completely extinguished.
The car carrier Silver Sky (IMO: 8519722) has overall length of 183.00 m, moulded beam of 30.00 m and maximum draft of 8.00 m. The deadweight of the vessel is 9,772 DWT and the gross tonnage is 39,043 GRT. The ship was built in 1989 by Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai, China. The owner and operator of the car carrier is Lebanon company Maritime Management Services. The cargo ship is operating under the flag of Panama with classification society at Bureau Veritas.