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Container ship carrying Volkswagen vehicles catches fire near Azores

A container ship carrying a number of Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE Group vehicles from Germany to the United States caught fire near the coast of Portugal’s Azores islands on Wednesday evening, a spokesperson for Audi said on Friday.

The 22 crew members on board were evacuated on Wednesday with no one hurt, Portugal’s navy said in a statement.

A picture shared by the Portuguese maritime authority on its website on Wednesday showed clouds of smoke billowing from ship.

The ship, Felicity Ace, was travelling from Emden, Germany – where Volkswagen has a factory – to Davisville, in the U.S. state of Rhode Island, according to the website Marine Traffic.

The fire is active but under control, the captain of the port of Horta on the Azorean island of Faial told Portuguese news agency Lusa on Thursday night.

Azorean authorities were not immediately available for comment.

An internal email from Volkswagen USA stated that 3,965 vehicles of the VW, Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini brands were on board, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported.

Audi confirmed some of its vehicles were on board but did not state how many. Volkswagen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Victoria Waldersee, Christina Amann, Catarina Demony Editing by Miranda Murray)

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