Vehicle carrier that burned in June leaves Jacksonville

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(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — The U.S. Coast Guard on Sunday escorted out to sea a vehicle carrier that burned for almost a week and a half in June after an explosion that sent nine firefighters to the hospital, the Florida Times-Union reported.

A tweet by the Coast Guard said the 600-foot Hoegh Xiamen was in a “dead ship tow” on Sunday, heading to sea 87 days after it caught fire at Blount Island on the St. Johns River. The destination was not reported.

The initial fire started June 4 on the seventh deck. The ship had loaded vehicles in Texas, then picked up more in Jacksonville. It was to go to Baltimore to get about 900 more before taking them to Africa when the fire and explosion occurred, JaxPort officials said.

Almost 150 firefighters initially responded to the fire on the Norwegian vessel. One firefighter was hospitalized due to heat exhaustion, and eight more were injured when an explosion occurred inside the ship, fire officials said.

Click here to read the Florida Times-Union story.

Click here to read Professional Mariner's coverage of the incident.

By Professional Mariner Staff