Millions of dollars of toxic cars are lying at the bottom of the ocean after a massive cargo ship fire. Now, authorities are looking for someone to blame.
Big questions are being asked after a massive cargo ship carrying 4000 luxury sports, including Lamborghinis, Porsches, Audis, and Bentleys worth an estimated total of $A541 million, sank off the coast of Europe last week.
The Felicity Ace, a 60,000-tonne merchant ship caught fire on February 17 after it ran aground about 407km from the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago in the mid-Atlantic Ocean, the New York Post reported.
The ship’s owner, MOL Ship Management Singapore Pte Ltd, said that the Panama-flagged vessel sank at around 9am local time on March 1.
The Felicity Ace started to tilt to one side and take on water after it caught fire.
There was no loss of life as all 22 sailors on board the ship were rescued after the fire started last month.
There were 3965 Volkswagen AG vehicles on board, including 1100 Porches, according to Bloomberg.
The ship set sail from Emden, Germany, on February 10 and was headed to Davisville, Rhode Island.
Volkswagen’s parent company manufactures its Volkswagen brand, as well as Porsche, Audi, and Lamborghini models, all of which were on board, an internal company email seen by the outlet said.
While Volkswagen declined to assess the value of the luxury cars that were lost, an incident insurance group told The Wall Street Journal that it estimates the vehicles were worth around $US401 million ($A541 million).
Car dealerships in Michigan and Rhode Island fielded calls from nervous customers who followed the news about the ship.
One man tweeted that his custom-ordered Porsche Boxster Spyder was on the doomed ship. Base models of the vehicle sell for $US100,000 ($A134,000).
European carmakers declined to discuss how many vehicles and what models were on board, but Porsche customers in the United States were being contacted by their dealers, the company said.
“We are already working to replace every car affected by this incident and the first new cars will be built soon,” Angus Fitton, vice president of PR at Porsche Cars North America, Inc. told The Associated Press in an email.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and has been republished here with permission.