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Ship carrying Porsches and Bentleys ablaze near Azores, towing boats en route

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A new logo of German carmaker Volkswagen is unveiled at the VW headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

BERLIN/LISBON (Reuters) – A container ship carrying a number of Volkswagen (DE:VOWG_p) Group vehicles from Germany to the United States caught fire near the coast of Portugal’s Azores islands on Wednesday evening, a spokesperson for Volkswagen said on Friday.

The 22 crew members on board were evacuated on Wednesday with no one hurt, Portugal’s navy said in a statement.

Around 1,100 Porsche vehicles were on board, according to a Porsche spokesperson. Audi confirmed some of its vehicles were also on board but did not state how many.

An internal email from Volkswagen USA stated that the ship was carrying 3,965 vehicles of the VW, Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini brands, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported.

Volkswagen did not confirm the number of ships on board and said it was awaiting further information.

A picture shared by the Portuguese maritime authority on its website on Wednesday showed clouds of smoke billowing from ship.

The ship, Felicity Ace, was travelling from Emden, Germany – where Volkswagen has a factory – to Davisville, in the U.S. state of Rhode Island, according to the website Marine Traffic.

The fire is active but under control, the captain of the port of Horta on the Azorean island of Faial told Portuguese news agency Lusa on Thursday night.

Azorean authorities were not immediately available for comment.

Container ship carrying Volkswagen vehicles catches fire near Azores

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