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Portugal rescues crew of fire-hit cargo ship off Azores

The Portuguese navy said on Thursday it had rescued the crew of a Panamanian-flagged cargo ship off the Azores archipelago in the North Atlantic after a fire broke out on board.

“The 22 members of the crew were rescued and taken to a hotel on the (Azores) island of Faial,” a navy spokesman told AFP.

He said no one had been injured.

The “Felicity Ace”, a vehicle transport vessel, reported a fire in the hold when it was 90 nautical miles southwest of Faial.

The blaze “continued to spread” during Thursday, the port captain at Horta a Faial, Joao Manuel Mendes Cabecas, told public channel RTP.

He added that tugs were expected to arrive on Monday from Gibraltar to tow away the “Felicity Ace”, which was shipping luxury cars from Germany to the United States, according to local media.

The Russian and Filipino crew was initially evacuated to the oil tanker “Resilient Warrior”, which was diverted to help in the rescue operation, before being flown by military helicopter to Faial, RTP reported.

The navy said it had found no evidence of water pollution thus far.