Thousands of Porsche and Volkswagen cars have been abandoned on a cargo ship after it caught fire in the Atlantic Ocean en route to the US.
The ship, named Felicity Ace, was travelling from Emden in Germany before it caught ablaze off the coast of Portugal’s Azores islands.
German newspaper Handelsblatt reported the vessel was carrying 3,965 vehicles, which also included Audis, Lamborghinis and a small number of Bentleys.
The ship’s crew have been rescued.
Portugal’s navy said no one was hurt by the fire, which broke out on Wednesday, and the 22 crew members were taken to a hotel after the navy, four merchant ships sailing in the area and the Portuguese Air Force completed the evacuation.
“The owner of the ship Felicity Ace is in contact with the logistic agent in order to draw up a plan for the towing of the ship,” the navy said in a statement.
“So far, no source of pollution has been recorded.”
According to Handelsblatt, an internal email from Volkswagen USA stated that the ship was carrying 3,965 vehicles of the VW, Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini brands.
Volkswagen did not confirm the number of cars on board, but Porsche said it had about 1,100 of its models on the ship.
The company said it was “aware of an incident involving a third-party cargo ship transporting Volkswagen Group vehicles across the Atlantic”.
Bentley confirmed that 189 of its cars were also onboard the ship.
“We are working with the shipping company to find out further information,” said a spokesman.
The ship was travelling to a Volkswagen factory in Davisville, Rhode Island, according to the website Marine Traffic.
One customer tweeted to say his Porsche was on board the abandoned ship.BBC