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Explosion risk as Russian trawler catches fire in Norwegian harbour

Evacuations were ordered as the vessel is carrying diesel oil and an ammonia tank.

The Russian fishing trawler Bukhta Naezdnik engulfed in flames in the harbour of Tromso, Norway (Rune Stoltz Bertinussen/NTB Scanpix via AP)
The Russian fishing trawler Bukhta Naezdnik engulfed in flames in the harbour of Tromso, Norway (Rune Stoltz Bertinussen/NTB Scanpix via AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

A Russian trawler with an ammonia tank and about 200,000 litres of diesel oil inside is in flames at a northern Norwegian port and authorities have evacuated surrounding areas because of an explosion risk.

The Norwegian public broadcaster NRK said on Thursday the fire on the vessel named Bukhta Naezdnik started on Wednesday.

It is currently moored at the port of Breivika in the Tromso region.

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The Bukhta Naezdnik engulfed in flames in the harbour of Tromso (Rune Stoltz Bertinussen/NTB Scanpix via AP)

“The fire is near the (ammonia) tank but it hasn’t exploded,” Oeystein Solstad, head of the region’s fire and rescue department, told Norwegian newspaper VG.

“We believe that the valves have worked properly and that much has gone out of the tank. We don’t therefore think that there is a great danger of explosion right now, but we keep the tank cool all the time,” he said.

Local police said much of the diesel oil on the trawler is estimated to have burned overnight but that some oil had been found in the sea.

There were no reports of casualties.

Photos and video footage from the scene showed the vessel had listed drastically by Thursday mid-morning and was covered with thick smoke.

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The trawler is listing (Rune Stoltz Bertinussen/NTB Scanpix via AP)

NRK said nearly 100 people had been evacuated from the area.

It said the 64-metre (210ft) long Bukhta Naezdnik was built in Norway in 1991.

According to VG, the trawler has a crew of 29.

PA

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