VICTORIA – The blaze that broke out on Saturday in containers full of dangerous mining chemicals aboard a ship anchored near Victoria was reportedly brought under control but is still smoldering in early Sunday afternoon, officials said of the Canadian Coast Guard.
At one point on Saturday evening, the fire aboard the MV Zim Kingston engulfed 10 of the 40-foot containers.
But at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, “most of the fire is out but it’s still smoldering,” said JJ Brickett, who heads the Canadian Coast Guard’s environmental response team in Ontario, who spoke of “heroic efforts.” on board the ship.
The strategy, since the water would not put out a chemical fire, was to let it burn while using a tug to spray water to keep the surrounding containers and the ship’s hull cool, he said. he declares.
On Friday, the Zim Kingston had lost about 40 containers in rough seas west of Neah Bay before heading to Canada to anchor at Constance Bank, nearly 5 miles off the Victoria coast and about 17 miles from the United States.
A fire broke out on Saturday morning in two containers of a dangerous substance used in mining – potassium xanthates or amylxanthate – which can cause serious burns.
By 10:49 p.m. Saturday, the fire had spread to 10 containers, the Canadian Coast Guard said in a statement.
It never spread to the ship and no one was injured, officials said on Sunday, adding that air quality monitoring was in place. No risk was seen for those ashore, they said.
Danaos Shipping Co., which operates the container ship, said in an emailed statement from Greece on Sunday: “No injuries were reported. The blaze appears to have been brought under control,” the Associated reported. Press.
Sixteen of the 21 crew members were evacuated to Ogden Point while five remained on board to fight the blaze as the Canadian Coast Guard doubled the emergency zone around the vessel to 2 nautical miles.
The owner of the Zim Kingston has contracted with Resolve Marine Group for the rescue operations, said Michelle Imbeau, spokesperson for the Canadian Coast Guard.
Authorities will take a full inventory of the containers and their contents once the fire is fully extinguished, Imbeau said.
Officials said on Sunday that the source of the blaze was unknown.
The U.S. Coast Guard is working closely with the Canadian Incident Command to track the original 40 containers that released from Zim Kingston on Friday, officials said.
Overflights on Sunday spotted the containers about 22-27 miles off the west coast of Vancouver Island.
The US Coast Guard had been warned Thursday at 1:45 p.m. that the ship had dumped the containers near the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Port Angeles helicopter crews flew over the area to follow them.
The Zim Kingston was traveling from a port in Busan, South Korea, according to the MarineTraffic ship tracking website. His destination was Vancouver, authorities said.