Car ferry Sorrento, which had to be evacuated last week off Majorca after a major fire broke out on one of its car decks, is under tow to the Spanish port of Sagunto.
The Grimaldi group, which owns the vessel, told IHS Maritime that the towage operation got under way at 17.00 local time on Tuesday and that the vessel was expected to reach Sagunto, which is administered by the port of Valencia authority, on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.
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Grimaldi representative Paul Kyprianou said it was not yet clear what had caused the violent fire that broke out aboard the vessel early last Tuesday afternoon, shortly after it had left Palma de Majorca for Valencia with 159 passengers and crew aboard.
“There is an investigation,” he said, however, “it seems there was a short circuit on one of the trucks stowed on board.”
He added that there were no plans to repair the vessel in Sagunto but just to examine it.
The fire broke out in the vessel’s number-four vehicle deck, according to the Spanish authorities.
Sorrento, which was operating under charter to Spanish ferry operator Trasmediterranea Acciona, was about 17 nm out of Palma de Majorca when the alarm was raised shortly before 14.00 local time. The master gave the order to take to the lifeboats an hour later after it had become clear that the fire was out of control.