Fire Breaks Out on Cargo Ship Carrying 3,000 New Cars; EV Potential Culprit
No, this isn’t a case of déja vu. This is yet another cargo ship carrying new vehicles from Europe that has mysteriously caught on fire. The 650-foot Fremantle Highway car carrier had set its course for Panama until it suddenly erupted in flames off the coast of Denmark. While one crew member had unfortunately passed away due to the incident, the rest of the ship’s 23-member crew were rescued. Many of them had received injuries caused by the fire, and some had to jump overboard in order to escape the blaze.
What Is The Cause of the Cargo Ship Fire?
The cargo ship is reported to be transporting approximately 3,000 new vehicles, with only 25 of them being electric. While the official cause of the fire has yet to be released, some reports suggest that the fire began within the vicinity of an electric car. It is certainly possible that the fire could have been caused by something else, but investigators are not ruling out anything as of yet.
Even though the likelihood of an EV spontaneously catching fire is just as much as a gas-powered car, the main concern surrounding EV fires is how out-of-control they can become. Should one battery cell receive damage, it could set off a chain reaction known as “thermal runaway”, in which the intense heat from one cell can spread to other cells in the battery pack, resulting in it fueling its own fire that can be extremely difficult to put out.
What Is Next For The Ship?
According to the Dutch Department of Waterways and Public Works, the fire on the cargo ship is still not under control, despite the best efforts of fireboats spraying water to extinguish it. In addition, a tugboat has successfully linked the cargo ship to a cable to prevent it from drifting out to sea into vital shipping routes. It also cannot allow it to drift into the Frisian islands, which are home to a fragile ecosystem. Should this ship sink near these islands, it would have a very negative effect on the local flora and fauna.
Experts are still deciding on what the best move is for stabilizing the cargo ship, as it is still full of cars that are loaded with flammable materials. The result could extend the ship’s fire for days.
This comes on the heels of the one-year anniversary of the Felicity Ace fire in which the cargo ship had also spontaneously erupted in flames, causing it to eventually sink into the ocean along with nearly 4,000 new and pre-owned cars, including the last of the Lamborghini Aventadors.