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Canada  

Fires in cargo ship off B.C. coast may take days to put out: coast guard

Days to put out fire

The Canadian Coast Guard says it may be several days before fires can be put out inside containers on a cargo ship anchored off the Victoria coast.

Paul Barrett, the planning section chief for the coast guard's unified command, says there are at least five fires burning in containers that are believed to be storing tires on the MV Zim Kingston.

Danaos Shipping Co., the ship's owner, says in a statement it is co-operating with Canadian officials and has contracted a firefighting company to help fight the fires.

The company says the trouble began when two containers on the ship caught fire, while another 40 fell into the water as it approached Vancouver, before it anchored for repairs in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Since the containers fell, they've been tracked moving northward along the west coast of Vancouver Island and some have been spotted off Cape Scott on the northern tip of the island.

J.J. Brickett, the coast guard's federal incident commander, says the vessel is able to operate but crews are taking a measured approach in ensuring the fires have been put out.

Canadian officials say at least 10 containers caught fire and crews battled the flames over the weekend.

Danaos Shipping's statement says it has permission from the Canadian Coast Guard to allow technical experts and two marine firefighters on board the ship.

Barrett said there are 20 people aboard comprising a mix of crew and firefighters.

The coast guard says it is monitoring air quality along Victoria's waterfront and has not recorded any unusual or dangerous changes caused by the fire.



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