Car-packed burning cargo ship being towed to safer waters off Netherlands

Car-packed burning cargo ship being towed to safer waters off Netherlands

Ship was carrying around 3,000 cars, including electric vehicles, from Bremerhaven, Germany to Egypt when fire broke out last week

By Burak Bir

LONDON (AA) — A burning cargo ship loaded with thousands of cars is being towed to a new temporary location off the Netherlands to avoid ecological disaster, local media reported Monday.

Two tugboats are slowly towing the burning Fremantle Highway to a location 16 kilometers (9.9 miles) north of Schiermonnikoog, the NL Times reported, citing authorities.

Edwin de Feijter, an official at the country's public works department, said the new location would be temporary, adding that it had chosen due to its relative safety and to ensure security of shipping routes.

"If everything goes well, the tugs will tow the ship to its new location at a speed of around 5.5 kilometers (3.4 miles) per hour ... We can't say yet when it will arrive at its destination," he added.

Due to the risk of ecological disaster, the Dutch Coast Guard and emergency services has been working for days to keep the burning vessel afloat.

The ship was carrying around 3,000 cars, including electric vehicles, from Bremerhaven, Germany to Egypt when a fire broke out last week, engulfing it in flames near Ameland Island, off Dutch shores.

One crew member was killed and others were injured, according to the Dutch Coast Guard.

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