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La Spezia port in Italy

A 633-foot-long logistic support ship was under construction. During the weekend, no work was in progress, only the fire patrol got access to the ship for their routine security patrolling when spotted smoke on deck 1 in the deckhouse superstructure, but the heat was already so high that the local fire brigade was unable to put the fire under control.

The city fire brigade was immediately called, and fire was fought both from land and sea. To put out the fire, firefighters employed several fire engines specialized teams and equipment including fire-fighting boat, navy divers with a dinghy, and a harbour tugboat with fire monitor by order of the Harbour Master. All together a nearly thirty people had been engaged the whole night to subdue the fire. By the end of the operation the ship had listed to one side because of the free surface effect caused by the water poured into it. No injuries were reported.

The ship was, immediately, seized by the magistrate, pending the technical investigation on the cause of fire to be carried out by the Authorities.
The vessel area affected by fire was the superstructure which extended for 15 decks and needed to be rebuilt for a total of 472 tons. Internal compartments, equipment and fittings in this area were destroyed due to either the fire or the heat, smoke, extinguishing seawater, and soot.
Relevant repairs lasted about 1,5 year and cost about 110,000,000 EUR.

After a thorough search on the scene of the fire with state-of-the-art equipment followed by a deep, long-lasting analysis of findings, no trace of combustible material was found which could have started the fire which would rule out any suggestion of arson. Despite all tests and study carried out, we could not identify with certainty the origin of fire, but, on the balance of probabilities, the fire outbreak may reasonably be considered accidental in nature and, maybe linked to the powerful lightning storm striking the area where the vessel was.