This story was updated on Sept. 26 at 11:42 a.m.
A Russian trawler that caught fire in the northern Norwegian port of Tromsø capsized and sank Thursday morning after burning for nearly 24 hours, the Defense Ministry’s Zvezda television channel has reported.
Negligence during welding work is suspected to have caused the fire, Russia’s consul in the border town of Kirkenes, Igor Lapitsky, told the RBC news website after the fire broke out Wednesday.
The fire still hadn’t been extinguished by Thursday morning, leading Tromsø police to express concerns that it could cause ammonia tanks onboard to explode.
Twelve out of 29 crew members have been sent to the hospital for smoke inhalation, NRK reported.
The Maritime Bulletin news outlet, which identified the trawler as the Bukhta Nayezdnik, said 27 people have been taken to hospital for possible smoke inhalation.
Johan Marius Ly of the Norwegian Coastal Administration told NRK that the vessel has about 200,000 liters of oil on board and that measures are being taken to prevent an oil spill.
Tromsø police have asked residents to keep windows closed to avoid being exposed to smoke. Nearly 100 residents living near the location of the fire were evacuated, NRK reported.
The incident came a day after 363 out of 412 people were evacuated from a Russian fish factory in the Pacific.
(c) The Moscow Times