Specialist hazardous cargo fire experts have been flown in from London and Austria to assist with extinguishing the fire aboard a container ship docked at the Port of Ngqura.
The fire is active but under control‚ with firefighters still unable to get below deck where the blaze is trapped.
Since Monday‚ Transnet tugboats fitted with fire-fighting equipment have been working nonstop‚ spraying containers on the deck of the 300m APL Austria with water.
Flames flared up sporadically on the containers yesterday and firefighters used high-pressure water hoses to drench the deck and douse the flames as clouds of smoke billowed across the port.
Port management said that by giving the 71 867-ton APL Austria safe refuge a potentially catastrophic maritime disaster had been averted – for now. While the exact cost of the damage is unknown‚ it is expected to run into millions of rand.
The vessel is operated by APL and is managed by Shoei Kisen Kaisha.
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