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Grande America sinks following a fire

“Grande America”, an Italian-flagged cargo ship, sinks in a water depth of over 4,000 meters

The sinking of Grande America followed a fire that broke out in the night between March 10th and 11th and that kept burning for many hours. The ship, owned by the shipowner Grimaldi, was 214 meters long and designed for carrying cars and containers. At the moment of the accident, she was navigating from Hamburg to Casablanca.

Grande America had just taken on 2000 tons of fuel and 45 of containers contained hazardous substances.

The video of Grande America sinking

The spectacular video we are proposing today, shot by the rescue boats of the French Navy, shows the moments before sinking.

All attempts to fight the fire by both the crew and rescue boats intervened in good time were frustrated by the huge amount of combustible materials on the ship and harsh weather conditions.

Rough sea and the strong wind blowing in the gulf of Biscay made impossible for rescuers to extinguish the flames and contributed to make the ship tilt.

The 26 members of the crew that had tried to put out the fire and the only passenger on board were all rescued by British Royal Navy ship HMS Argyll as the situation got too dangerous to stay on board. None of them was injured and they were all brought to the port of Brest.

Following the accident, French authorities are highly worried about eventual environmental consequences. A huge oil slick was, in fact,  spotted in the vicinity of the sunken ship and immediately identified by air patrols. Polluting substances seem to threaten the Atlantic French coasts.

The anti-pollution vessel Argonaute was immediately sent to the bay to suck the harmful slick and avoid more serious consequences.


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