An investigation has begun after a fire broke out inside an Eagle Bulk Shipping bulker in South Korea on Tuesday.

The incident involving the 64,000-dwt Cape Town Eagle (built 2015) took place at 0950 local time in the port of Ulsan.

Photos from the scene showed firefighters on cranes tackling the blaze as black smoke swirled from the vessel.

Eagle Ship Management in Singapore confirmed that the blaze started in cargo hold No. 4 during the loading of purified terephthalic acid (PTA).

The Marshall islands-flag ship's master immediately advised the port authority and initiated emergency procedures on board, the manager said in a statement to TradeWinds.

“The trained crew commenced firefighting,” it added.

Local firefighters also responded and the fire was extinguished by 1530.

There were no injuries to any seafarers.

No cause has yet been given for the blaze and any damage to the ship was unclear.

Inspection due to take place

The bulker will now undergo an inspection to ascertain the extent of any damage, and an investigation has been launched into why the accident happened.

On 21 May, Eagle Bulk revealed that three seafarers who were kidnapped three weeks ago off Gabon had been returned home safely.

TradeWinds has reported that the captain, first mate and second mate were abducted on 2 May in an attack on the Stamford-based shipowner’s 58,000-dwt Glebe Bulker (built 2010), which took place 4.7 nautical miles (9.7 km) off the Owendo anchorage.