Fire, Explosion Aboard Car Carrier at Port of Jacksonville

Image courtesy JFRD

Published Jun 4, 2020 7:15 PM by The Maritime Executive

[Breaking] About 120 firefighters are working to bring a blaze under control aboard the car carrier Hoegh Xiamen at the port of Jacksonville, Florida. 

In a social media update at 1915 hours, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said that "there has been an explosion on the ship... firefighters are hurt." The department said that it was classifying the incident as a mass casualty incident level one (MCI Level One). 

The fire broke out on the vehicle's seventh deck at about 1600 hours Thursday. It has spread to multiple levels, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department Chief Keith Powers told local media at a news conference Thursday evening. He said that he expects the firefighting effort to continue through the night. 

All 21 of her crew got off safely and have been accounted for, the U.S. Coast Guard said. 

AIS data shows that the Xiamen is moored at a car terminal at Blount Island. As a precautionary measure, the Coast Guard has established a 500-yard safety zone around the vessel. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation.