Texas blaze contained

Authorities in the US are investigating the cause of a blaze that broke out on board a cargoship moored in the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Tuesday afternoon.

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According to local media reports it is widely believed that welding sparks started the fire on the 30,600-dwt Antonio (ex- Hyundai Jumbo, built 2002).

Photos taken by the Caller Times show thick black smoke billowing out of the vessel’s lower decks as fire-fighters battled the blaze.

A local fire chief, Captain James Brown, told the news outlet that two first responders were hospitalised yesterday but their current condition isn't known.

According to a spokeswoman for the port the fire began at around 2:45 pm when the vessel was in the process of unloading cargo, which included blades for wind turbines.

Patricia Cardenas told a local news station that sparks from a welding torch operated by one of the crew members may have come into contact with timbers in one of the ship’s holds.

The Caller Times claims the blaze was contained by 4:00 Tuesday afternoon and notes a nearby fuel dock that closed when the fire was first reported reopened around the same time.

According to Equasis the Antonio is controlled by NSC Schiffahrt of Germany, flagged in Liberia, classed by Germanischer Lloyd and maintains protection-and-indemnity cover with Gard.

Records from the same database indicate that the vessel was detained by port inspectors in Antwerp late last year for nine deficiencies, including at lease one related to fire prevention.

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