2012 Oct 05

Cambodian-flagged cargo ship catches fire in Japan

Japanese coastguard reported that a Cambodian-flagged cargo ship, with ten crew members on board, caught fire in a channel in western Japan Friday.

One of the agency's vessels was joined by a local fire department boat, which sprayed water at the 1,496-tonne freighter HAODA 6 after fire broke out in its hold in waters between the main Japanese islands of Honshu and Kyushu.

The authorities received a distress call from the freighter at around 3:10 am (1810 GMT Thursday), a spokesman for the Kyushu branch of Japan's coastguard said.

"Smoke stopped spewing out from the ship by 10:00 am but we are continuing to spray water to cool the ship's hull," he told AFP by telephone. "There is still a possibility that the fire is smoldering inside."

No injury or oil spill was reported and the ship was towed to a point some 300 meters (yards) off port in the city of Kitakyushu, the official said. The crew also included two Myanmar nationals.

The HAODA 6 was carrying 980 tonnes of iron scrap from Chiba, near Tokyo, to the eastern Chinese port of Ningbo, the official said.

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