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Grimaldi has thanked the firefighting teams which put out a fire onboard one of its ro-ro vessels, but tragically, two firefighters died in the blaze.

Deck 10 of the Grande Costa d’Avorio caught fire at 9.30pm last night at a berth in the port of Newark, New Jersey. The vessel was loading cars, vans and trucks when the blaze began.

Grimaldi said the crew immediately “activated onboard fire suppression procedures” and alerted local firefighting services.

“Their prompt response played a crucial role in containing and bringing the fire under control,” said Grimaldi.

“Sadly, during the firefighting operations, we were informed that two firefighters lost their lives. All company’s thoughts, prayers and sympathies are with their families and team.”

It is not yet clear how the fire started, but Grimaldi said it was launching a full investigation alongside authorities.

The ship had 1,200 units onboard, as well as 157 containers, but there were no electric vehicles or dangerous goods onboard. Grimaldi added that no fuel spills had been detected and the ship’s structure had not been compromised.

Grande Costa d’Avorio, built in 2011, is deployed on the North America-West Africa regular ro-ro service operated by Grimaldi Deep Sea.

There have been several fires on Grimaldi-operated ferries in recent years, most recently in August last year.

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