- Around 40 shipping containers went overboard when a cargo ship hit rough seas on Friday.
- A fire broke out Saturday on the same ship, the Zim Kingston, while anchored near Vancouver Island.
- US and Canadian officials are monitoring the situation, including some containers with “hazardous materials.”
A fire broke out Saturday on a cargo ship, known as the Zim Kingston, that had lost around 40 shipping containers off the coast of Canada’s Vancouver Island the day before, officials said.
The US Coast Guard said in a tweet Friday they were monitoring adrift shipping containers that went overboard after an inbound vessel en route to Canada encountered rough seas. Photos shared by the coast guard showed some of the shipping containers afloat in the open ocean.
—USCGPacificNorthwest (@USCGPacificNW) October 22, 2021
The US Coast Guard said Friday 35 floating containers had been located. As of Saturday, five had still not been located, and officials were warning other vessels to be extremely cautious in the area as the containers “may be partially submerged and not visible,” the Vancouver Sun reported.
The Canadian Coast Guard told the outlet some of the containers that fell held hazardous materials, and that the agency would assess for any “pollution threats and hazards.”
A day after the containers fell from the Zim Kingston, a fire broke out on the ship while it was anchored near Victoria, according to the Canadian Coast Guard. The agency told CHEK News reporter Jasmine Bala the fire started in damaged containers that were still onboard.
—Jasmine Bala (@JasmineBala_) October 23, 2021
The Canadian Coast Guard told Bala two of the six containers that are on fire contain “hazardous material.” They also said 10 crew members were evacuated while 11 remain on the ship, with no reports of injuries.
In a warning to other vessels, the Canadian Coast Guard established an emergency zone around the Zim Kingston, saying: “The ship is on fire and expelling toxic gas. Two fallen containers are floating in the vicinity of the vessel. Caution.”