Several fire fighters have been injured while responding to a fire on board a vehicle carrier off Blount Island in Jacksonville, Florida.
Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville watchstanders were notified at 3:53 p.m. of a fire on board the MV Höegh Xiamen, a 600-foot vehicle carrier. The watchstanders immediately notified Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of a Coast Guard Station Mayport 45-foot Response Boat—Medium crew.
An update from the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue on Twitter said that eight fire fighters were injured as the result of an explosion while fighting the fire. Four are in stable but serious condition.
All 21 crew members have been safely accounted for.
Photos and video posted online shows the black smoke pouring from the vessel.
There has been an explosion on the ship… firefighters are hurt… this od now an MCI level I
— MyJFRD (@JFRDJAX) June 4, 2020
On scene are Coast Guard Station Mayport RB-M crew, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and Blount Island Port Authority.
A 500-yard safety zone has been established around the MV Höegh Xiamen.
The 4,900 ceu capacity Höegh Xiamen is registered in Norway and was built in 2010. It is operated by Höegh Autoliners on a service connecting East Asia with North America and the Caribbean via the Panama Canal.
AIS ship tracking data showed the vessel last visited Freeport, Texas.
Jacksonville’s JAXPORT is one of the leading auto ports in the United States with more than 695,000 vehicles moved in 2019.
The cause of the incident is under investigation.
ICYMI…8 firefighters were transported to the hospital after an explosion on the ship in which they were fighting a fire. 4 of them were taken to Shands Gainesville burn unit..2 by helicopter 2 by ground transport… they are all stable, but with serious injuries.
— MyJFRD (@JFRDJAX) June 5, 2020