Fire breaks out on cargo ship that lost 40 containers in Strait of Juan de Fuca

A fire broke out Saturday on cargo ship ZIM Kingston, which lost 40 containers due to high winds on Friday.

VICTORIA, BC — A fire broke out Saturday in ten containers aboard cargo ship ZIM Kingston near Victoria, British Columbia on Saturday, a day after high winds caused the inbound vessel to lose 40 other containers in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

According to the Canadian Coast Guard, 16 people were evacuated from the container ship after the fire started in ten containers on board.

According to officials, at least two of the containers that caught fire contain hazardous materials identified as potassium amylxanthate.

Because of the chemicals in the containers, first responders were unable to apply water directly to the flames.

Overnight Saturday into Sunday, the tug boat Seaspan Raven was able to cool the hull of the ship.

An emergency zone has been established at 2 nautical miles around the cargo ship to protect other ships and mariners.

As of Sunday around 11 a.m., the fire is still active despite a reduction in flames and smoke. The area is expecting gale force winds, according to the Canadian Coast Guard, and experts are monitoring air and water quality at sea and on shore.

On Friday, 40 containers were lost off of the ZIM Kingston about 43 miles west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca entrance, according to the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Northwest.

The incident happened when the ship listed to its side due to rough seas.

As of Friday evening, 35 containers have been observed floating to the north of the strait entrance.

A helicopter from the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles captured these aerial images of some of the adrift containers.

The vessel was en route to Canada and is now in Vancouver, British Columbia, according to the Coast Guard.

The first of several weather systems is moving through western Washington on Friday bringing rain showers. A stronger system is expected to arrive Saturday, but the strongest weather event is expected to be Sunday with the possibility of wind, rain, mountain snow and thunderstorms.

A High Wind Watch is in effect through Sunday morning for the north and central Washington coast and much of the Northwest Interior with winds up to 40 miles per hour and gusts up to 60 mph possible, according to the National Weather Service.

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