Cargo ship catches fire while undergoing repairs in Taiwan
A foreign-flagged cargo vessel caught fire while undergoing repairs at the Taiwanese port of Kaohsiung on Wednesday, September 13.
The Cameroon-registered, Chinese-owned general cargo vessel Wan Lung was at the Kaohsiung facilities of Jong Shyn Shipbuilding Company for repairs when a blaze ignited in an undisclosed area of the ship at around 15:50 local time on Wednesday.
Nearby vessels including a tug and a Taiwan Coast Guard Administration patrol ship assisted in extinguishing the flames as Wan Lung‘s crew of one Chinese and eight Burmese nationals escaped either by gangway or by jumping into the water. No serious injuries have been reported.
Local media confirmed that the fire was brought under control by 16:25 but continued to smolder for another two hours, thus preventing firefighting teams from opening the hatch to apply water in the below deck compartments.
Officials suspect that the fire ignited while the crew were attempting to remove rust with the aid of an oxyacetylene torch.