January 4, 2024: An investigation is underway into the cause of a fire on a cargo ship carrying lithium ion batteries in Alaska, the vessel’s owners said on January 2.
Fire was reported onboard the MV Genius Star XI (pictured) on December 25, according to the Wisdom Marine Group.
The US Coast Guard praised members of the vessel’s 19-strong crew, none of whom were injured, for containing the initial blaze.
A precautionary one-mile safety zone was in place around the vessel, now at anchor in Broad Bay, near Dutch Harbor, until technical experts are satisfied the cargo hold is safe to enter for investigations to continue, the coast guard said on December 30.
However, an initial assessment of the vessel’s condition found no signs of structural deformation or blistering outside of the hold.
Coast guard captain of the port Chris Culpepper said Broad Bay had previously been designated as a protected anchorage area for dealing with such incidents and temporarily keeping the vessel there would minimize the risk of any re-flash of the fire.
Photo: US Coastguard