Sixteen crew members were evacuated from a burning cargo ship off the western coast of Canada after containers carrying more than 50 tons of mining chemicals caught fire.
An emergency zone was declared on Sunday for 1 nautical mile around the anchored ship, identified as the MV Zim Kingston, off the coast of Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, the Canadian Coast Guard said.
“The ship is on fire and expelling toxic gas,” the Coast Guard said early Sunday morning. “Two fallen containers are floating in the vicinity of the vessel.”
Five crew members were left on board the ship to fight the fire.
The company that manages the container ship, Danaos Shipping, reported that the fire was put out later Sunday, according to Canadian Coast Guard Commander JJ Brickett, though he said it could still be seen smoldering.
“What they were attempting to do is let the fire burn down. In other words, the container consume itself with the fuel while keeping everything else around it cool so they wouldn’t ignite,” Brickett said Sunday at a news conference.
“When we are looking at the imagery, we can’t see any scorching or charring of those adjacent containers. That’s a really good sign.”
The Canadian Coast Guard said it’s been working with the US Coast Guard to track about 40 containers that fell overboard the ship off the western coast of Vancouver Island during a storm before the fire broke out.
Two of those containers held “materials we would be concerned about,” Brickett said, but added that “none of our trajectories right now have any of those containers grounding.”
Brickett said Danaos Shipping, the ship’s owners, was “very responsible” and has cooperated with authorities. It remains unclear what caused the fire or if it was related to the containers falling overboard, he added.
New York-listed shares of Danaos fell more than 2 percent in premarket trading Monday.
The company did not immediately return The Post’s request for comment.
With Post wires