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Chemical ship blaze flares up

BRIGHTON, England -- A blaze on board a cargo ship carrying chemicals has flared up again after firefighters believed it had been brought under control.

Dozens of firefighters boarded the Wester Till as it docked in Portsmouth, southern England, to tackle the second fire.

Fire officers earlier said they had contained the blaze, which broke out on Sunday, on the ship, whose cargo included corrosive materials and flammable liquids, sailed through the English Channel.

The Wester Till had been sailing to Southampton for a damage assessment inspection when the second fire broke out and it was diverted to the nearer port of Portsmouth.

About 45 firefighters backed up by eight fire engines joined the 13-strong crew on board the Antigua-registered vessel to tackle the second blaze as the ship docked.

The Wester Till, built in 1986 and base in Rendsburg, was sailing from Belgium to Tunisia when the first blaze broke out on Sunday.

After the fire was brought under control it was diverted to Southampton but was diverted a second time to Portsmouth because of the second fire.

Firefighters had to be lowered by cable from helicopters on Sunday to fight the blaze nine miles off England's southeast coast.

It is the second major incident involving a cargo vessel in the English Channel in 24 hours.

On Saturday, a tanker carrying 15,000 tonnes of molten sulphur caught fire.

The blaze started in the engine room of the Kaliope as it sailed 30 miles north east of Dover.

The on-board firefighting system extinguished the blaze and none of the ship's 18 crew were injured.




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