Mar 1, 2022 - World

Cargo ship carrying luxury cars sinks after massive fire

The Felicity Ace adrift in the Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 18.

The Felicity Ace adrift in the Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 18. Photo: Portuguese Naval Forces / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A cargo ship carrying luxury cars that caught fire in February sunk in the Atlantic Ocean Tuesday despite efforts save it, according to the ship operator.

Why it matters: The risk assessment company Russell Group estimated last week that the fire to the ship could cost Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini at least $155 million in losses.

The big picture: MOL Ship Management, a unit of Mitsui OSK Lines, said the ship, which was destined for Rhode Island before it caught fire, suffered "a list to starboard" in bad weather and sunk around 220 nautical miles off the coast of Portugal’s Azores Islands Tuesday morning.

  • It said salvage crews will remain around the area to monitor the situation.
  • It's not yet clear what sparked the fire on the cargo deck where the vehicles were stowed, but the lithium-ion batteries in some of the cars kept the fire alive and greatly complicated firefighters' suppression efforts.
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