Cargo ship carrying thousands of luxury cars sinks after catching fire


A cargo ship carrying thousands of luxury cars has sunk off the Portuguese Azores archipelago, almost two weeks after it caught fire.

The vessel was carrying about 4,000 vehicles made by Volkswagen Group – including Porsches and Bentleys – from Germany to the US.

As it was being towed, the Panama-flagged Felicity Ace plummeted due to structural problems caused by the fire and rough seas, according to a port official.

The losses could amount to more than $100m
Image:The losses could amount to more than $100m

Joao Mendes Cabecas, the captain of the nearest port on the island of Faial, said: “When the towing started… water started to come in.

“The ship lost its stability and sank.”

Some 22 crew members were evacuated when the fire broke out on 16 February.

Mr Cabecas said no oil leak has been reported at this time, but there are concerns the fuel tanks could be damaged.

The vessel is now at the bottom of the Atlantic at a depth of about 3,500m (2.17 miles).

Volkswagen previously said the damage to the vehicles was covered by insurance.

The company – Europe’s largest car-maker – confirmed the ship had sunk.

The value of what was lost was estimated at $155m (£116) by insurance experts.

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