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Drama at docks as blaze starts on board ship

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Ten crews of firefighters were called to Lynn docks after a blaze broke out on a cargo ship.

A fire was sparked as a digger on board the Hanseatic Scout was unloading a cargo of wood chips on Wednesday morning.

Crews from across the county and Cambridgeshire were called to Bentinck dock to tackle the blaze along with a water response unit and high aerial ladder.

Thanks to their efforts, the flames were confined to the digger. No-one was injured in the blaze.

The cause of the blaze is now being investigated and the ship remained at the dock.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue’s area manager Stuart Horth praised the team.

He said: “Firefighting on a ship is always a challenging environment to deal with and I would like to say the teams have done a fantastic job.

“The fire was confined to a digger which was part of the unloading process. We committed four teams with breathing apparatus who extinguished the fire fairly quickly.

“Access was the chief difficulty. Apart from a ship which is something which moves around, we also have got to get on board a metal structure which absorbs heat.”

The alarm was raised at about 11am by the crew as the digger was unloading the wood chips from an open topped hull.

Crews from Lynn, Terrington, Sandringham, Downham, West Walton, Massingham, Heacham, Hunstanton, Wymondham and Wisbech, along with the swift water unit attended.Four crews with breathing apparatus were sent into the ship.

Crews used foam to put out the flames and four crews remained on site until the afternoon and the digger had remained on board the ship. It was hoped to move it off.

The Coastguard, ambulance and Environment Agency also attended.

Bystander Craig Doig, who lives in Gaywood, said he saw smoke rising from the docks while tending his chickens at his allotment.

He said: “I saw lots of black smoke and it smelled like plastic.”

A statement from site owners Associated British Ports said: “We can confirm that the fire service attended an incident on board a ship at the Port of King’s Lynn. We are pleased to report that no one has been injured and the fire aboard the vessel is now out.”

 

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