Liberian cargo ship Leda Trader catches fire off the coast of Florida

19 January 2014 (Last Updated January 19th, 2014 18:30)

Liberian cargo ship Leda Trader caught fire off the coast of Miami, Florida, on 17 January this year.

Liberian cargo ship Leda Trader caught fire off the coast of Miami, Florida, on 17 January this year.

The ship was carrying flammable material and the fire started below deck in the hull.

According to a source, the ship’s 16-member crew reported that the fire suppression equipment was activated and the cargo hold was sealed off, but heat sensors indicated that the fire was still active.

The crew sent a distress message to the US Coast Guard and Miami-Dade firefighters, who off-loaded dozens of cargo containers from the ship, fearing that the flammable materials in the cargo could cause major explosion.

Reports say that the fire was put out and all the crew members were safe.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department spokesman Arnold Piedrahita said that 19 Miami-Dade fire rescue units and the Coast Guard are working to determine the extent of the fire.

The ship was moving from Port Everglades to Costa Rica before the cargo hold caught fire, forcing the crew to divert it to Port of Miami.

Leda Trader is currently docked at Dodge Island. The 656ft-long cargo ship operates out of Port Everglades and has a gross weight of 33,917t.