MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Crews off-loaded dozens of cargo containers from a 650-foot ship as firefighters stood-by at the Port of Miami Sunday, ready to walk into a risky situation after a fire broke out below deck.
The cargo ship which reported a fire in one of their holds late Saturday docked at Dodge Island Sunday.
Miami-Dade Fire rescue said the fire started in the hull of the nearly 34-thousand ton cargo ship near flammable materials that could have caused a major explosion.
Miami-Dade firefighters and divers assisted the U.S. Coast Guard Sunday afternoon and removed some of the containers on the ship. They opened the hold and sent firefighters in to determine if the fire is still burning and if so, to what extent.
“We have 19 Miami-Dade fire rescue units along with the Coast Guard trying to determine extent of this fire,” said Arnold Piedrahita of Miami-Dade Fire.
Divers will examine the ship’s hull to see if the heat from the fire caused any damage. The Coast Guard has set up a safety zone around the ship to keep boaters away.
Late Saturday, the Coast Guard said they were still attempting to determine what exactly was taking place aboard the Leda Trader, a Liberian flagged vessel that operates out of Port Everglades. At that time the ship was approximately 10 miles off Key Largo.
The ship was bound for Costa Rica from Port Everglades when the fire was detected and they were forced to rush to Port Miami.
A source monitoring the incident told CBS4’s Jim DeFede the ship’s 16-member crew reported the fire suppression equipment was activated and they had sealed off the cargo hold but heat sensors suggested the fire was still active.The ship had requested fire crews for assistance. There were no reports of injuries.
After removing the cargo and entering the ship hazardous material crews found the flames were already extinguished.
The Leda Trader is a 656-foot-long container ship built in 2000 that has a gross weight of 33,917 tons.