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One dead as cargo ship burns near Dutch coast

One person died after a cargo ship carrying 23 crew members and more than 3,000 vehicles caught fire off the coast of the Netherlands. Photo courtesy Netherlands Coast Guard
1 of 3 | One person died after a cargo ship carrying 23 crew members and more than 3,000 vehicles caught fire off the coast of the Netherlands. Photo courtesy Netherlands Coast Guard

July 26 (UPI) -- One person died and others were injured in a fire on a cargo ship off the coast of the Netherlands, authorities said.

Injured crew members were lifted from the ship by helicopter to receive medical treatment as some inhaled smoke or sustained other injuries as the boat was evacuated, a Netherlands Coast Guard spokesperson said.

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The Coast Guard Center said it received a report around midnight Wednesday morning of a fire on the ship Fremantle Highway with a crew of 23 in the North Sea.

Two vessels, the Guardian and Nordic, tried to cool the side of the ship, located about 17 miles north of Ameland, with fire extinguishers but had not been successful in putting out the blaze as of early Wednesday afternoon.

"The situation is unchanged," the Kustwacht said in a statement late Wednesday morning. "There is still a lot of smoke. A plan of action is being worked on. Various scenarios are being worked out for this. The cause of the fire is still unknown."

The agency called for planes to not travel to the site because it would slow their efforts to put out the fire.

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"There are several planes en route to the Fremantle Highway," the Kustwacht said. "This hinders the assistance. Hence the request to all aircraft not to fly to the incident ship."

The ship was carrying more than 3,000 vehicles and Dutch media reported that the blaze may have begun with one of the 25 electric vehicles onboard.

The Coast Guard, however, said the cause of the incident was still under investigation.

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