Huge fire breaks out on cruise ship under lockdown after coronavirus outbreak

A huge fire broke out on one of Japan’s biggest cruise ships, the country’s coast guard said.

Video shows flames tearing through the Asuka II while it was moored up in the Japanese port city of Yokohama.

The country’s 3rd Regional Coast Guard Headquarters, based in the city, said it received a report by radio from a crew member at around 1pm local time that the ship’s crew were trying to extinguish the flames.

Reports in Japan say the ship had been placed on lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis.

Nippon Yusen KK (NYK Lines), the parent company of the cruise ship’s operator, said the fire broke out on the top floor used to store materials.

Smoke could be seen pouring out of the ship as the city’s fire department joined the efforts to put out the blaze.

The flames were finally extinguished at around 4.15pm.

Authorities said the Asuka II has been anchored at Osanbashi Pier since April 1 following the outbreak of Covid-19.



It was expected to remain out of service until at least mid-July due to the ongoing health crisis.

The ship, which has been in service since February 2006, is 241m long and weighs around 50,000 tons.

It has a passenger capacity of 872 and a crew of 150.



Japan cruise ship fire

No passengers were onboard the ship at the time and no one was injured.

NYK Lines said in a press release: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused to people living in the neighbourhood or related organisations.

“We would also like to thank the Yokohama City Fire Bureau and the Coast Guard Headquarters of the Third Division for their rapid fire fighting activities.”



Japan cruise ship fire

Yokohama Port is where the Diamond Princess cruise ship was placed on lockdown in February this year after 700 people became infected by the coronavirus.

The first British patient to die from coronavirus was a passenger onboard the 3,700-capacity ship.

Japan has seen some 17,000 cases and 925 deaths after the country responded to the outbreak with a severe lockdown.

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