A car carrier ship, the 199-meter (653 ft) Fremantle Highway, caught fire off the Dutch coast on Tuesday night, resulting in the death of an Indian crew member and injuries to several others. Some of the 23 crew members jumped overboard to escape the flames and were rescued by the Dutch coastguard.
The cause of the fire remains unknown, but a recording released by Dutch broadcaster RTL features an emergency responder stating, “The fire started in the battery of an electric car.” Approximately 25 out of the 2,857 vehicles on the Panamanian-registered ship, en route from Germany to Egypt, were electric.
An investigation into the incident is underway by the Panama Maritime Authority, with the Netherlands expected to provide assistance in the inquiry, as confirmed by Dutch Safety Board spokesman Arjen Zegers.
The car carrier, Fremantle Highway, has drifted westward in international waters from its initial location near the island of Ameland, in the direction of the island of Terschelling, according to Dutch news agency ANP.