AN ITALIAN cargo ship which set on fire in the Mediterranean while sailing for Valencia arrived in Palma’s harbour this morning (Thursday) with its cargo of more than 1,800 cars.
The harbour’s Marta Mata tug boat towed the Grande Europa to Palma after it caught fire about 46 kilometres south of Mallorca. A total of 25 crew members were on board but none were seriously injured.
Jose Escales, the head of Palma’s maritime authority, said no spillage had resulted from the fire and added the ship had been completely sealed to stop it from reigniting.
Spanish maritime authorities were alerted to the fire on the Grande Europa at about 4.20am yesterday (Wednesday). The 183-metre-long ship had previously left the Italian port of Salerno and was part way through its voyage.
Two Salvamento Maritimo vessels were despatched to help put out the blaze. A Helimer 205 helicopter was also sent to evacuate 15 of the ship’s crew who were airlifted to the Navy’s Posadillo Navy ship.
The remaining 10 crew members stayed aboard the Grande Europa to help put out the fire.
The vessel is owned by the Grimaldi Lines shipping company and is 20 years old.