Fire erupts on tanker barge undergoing conversion in Netherlands

Fire erupts on tanker barge undergoing conversion in Netherlands Image: MaRicMedia/Marcel van Dorst

A fire broke out in the engine room of a Belgian-flagged oil tanker barge as it was undergoing conversion into a cargo vessel in the Netherlands on Friday, June 21.

The incident on the 110-metre-long Atlas occurred at around 08:40 local time while the vessel was berthed at the facilities of local shipbuilder Offshore Ruijtenberg in Raamsdonksveer.

Responders from the local fire department were immediately despatched to the scene after the blaze spread to the superstructure. An anti-pollution boat was also deployed to the area after witnesses saw that the barge had leaked oil into the Donge River while the fire was raging.

At 11:15, as the ensuing flames and smoke became more intense, local authorities instructed residents to keep their doors and windows closed while two offices and a college located near the shipyard evacuated all their personnel.

The firefighters said they encountered difficulty in extinguishing the blaze in the engine room due to the vessel's tight passageways.

The fire was declared under control at 13:00. However, the firefighters worked several more hours to pump out the engine room and cool down the vessel.

No injuries have been reported.

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