Two firefighters killed battling cargo ship fire at New Jersey port


(Reuters) -Two New Jersey firefighters were killed after they became trapped while battling a blaze on a cargo ship docked at Port Newark, officials said on Thursday, and TV footage showed some smoke continuing to billow from the vessel.

The ship was carrying about 5,000 motor vehicles, and the fire broke out late on Wednesday in multiple cars on its upper floors, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said.

“It’s a very huge structure that these guys had to breach,” Baraka told reporters at the port. Rescuers from fire service companies across New Jersey came to help look for two Newark firefighters “who unfortunately did not make it.”

Aerial footage carried by ABC News showed a firefighting vessel dousing an upper floor of the cargo ship with water. CBS News, citing a public safety spokesperson, said much of the blaze had been extinguished but that crews were still working to get it under control.

Port Newark, near New York City, is part of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is among the largest in the United States and one of the busiest on the U.S. Eastern seaboard.

Newark’s fire chief Rufus Jackson told reporters the loss of the two fighters was a tragedy for the city.

“This is not a common fire for the city of Newark and the Newark firefighters,” he said. “It’s a different type of fire, and they’re still willing to put themselves on the line.”

(Reporting by Rami Ayyub; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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