Diaoyu Islands

Chinese-crewed cargo ship catches fire in Japan

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 October, 2012, 3:34pm
UPDATED : Friday, 05 October, 2012, 3:34pm

A Cambodian-flagged cargo ship, with a crew of 10 including eight Chinese, caught fire in a channel in western Japan on Friday, the coastguard said.

One of the agency’s vessels was joined by a local fire department boat, which sprayed water at the 1,496-tonne freighter Haoda 6 after fire broke out in its hold in waters between the main Japanese islands of Honshu and Kyushu.

The authorities received a distress call from the freigher at around 3.10am, a spokesman for the Kyushu branch of Japan’s coastguard said.

“Smoke stopped spewing out from the ship by 10am but we are continuing to spray water to cool the ship’s hull,” he told reporters by telephone. “There is still a possibility that the fire is smouldering inside.”

No injury or oil spill was reported and the ship was towed to a point some 300 metres off port in the city of Kitakyushu, the official said. The crew also included two Myanmar nationals.

The Haoda 6 was carrying 980 tonnes of iron scrap from Chiba, near Tokyo, to the eastern Chinese port of Ningbo, the official said.