Nova Scotia: Ship on Fire : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


Thursday, March 22, 2001

Crew battling ship fire off Nova Scotia

HALIFAX (CP) -- The crew of a Japanese container ship off Nova Scotia was battling a fire in some of the vessel's containers Thursday.

The 288-metre MV Kitano, with 22 people onboard, was en route to Halifax from New York when the crew reported a fire.

"The fire continues and I cannot extinguish," the ship's captain said in broken English during a satellite telephone interview.

The fire began in a container holding general cargo and quickly spread to a second container on the starboard side of the deck.

The captain requested help from the search-and-rescue co-ordination centre and officials were preparing to put a firefighting team on the Kitano, which was about 15 kilometres off Halifax when the drama began.

Capt. Jason Proulx, a military spokesman, said seas were probably too rough to get firefighters on to the container ship by boat. A Labrador helicopter was being readied to lower a crew on to the vessel.

Ricardo Masilang, the ship's third officer, said the ship's crew was spraying the burning containers with seawater but couldn't get the fire under control.

"We are requesting the coast guard give us a firefighting team," he said from the ship's bridge.

"We cannot contain the spread of the fire because we cannot open the container."

-- Rachel Gibson (, March 22, 2001

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