JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Crews are still working to contain the fire on the ship. Action News Jax is following this story and will have the latest updates LIVE on CBS47 and FOX30. Click here to watch.
At least nine Jacksonville firefighters were hurt while fighting a ship fire at Blount Island on Thursday.
The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said an explosion on the ship injured eight of the nine hurt firefighters. Some have serious injuries, JFRD said.
Two firefighters were airlifted and two were taken by ambulance to a burn unit in Gainesville, the fire department said.
All but two of the firefighters were expected to be released from the hospital on Friday. One was going into surgery one Friday and the other firefighter is scheduled to have surgery next week, JFRD said.
Around 4 p.m. Thursday, 150 JFRD personnel were working to put out the fire, according to the fire department. It could be days before the fire inside the ship is fully under control, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
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JFRD said crews are working to save the integrity of the outside of the cargo ship to help contain any pollution from getting into the ocean.
JFRD and the U.S. Coast Guard is expected to be on scene Friday night to keep the integrity of the ship.
So far, there has not been any environmental impact, officials say.
The fire department said the ship was being loaded with cars to be shipped out. Records show the ship was built in 2010 and sails under the flag of Norway. The cargo ship was last ported in Freeport, Texas.
Höegh Autoliners CEO Thor Jørgen Guttormsen released the following statement thanking JFRD:
“On behalf of everyone at Höegh Autoliners, I want to express my continuing thanks to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, the US Coast Guard, The Jacksonville Port Authority and all other parties involved in tackling the fire aboard our vessel Höegh Xiamen in Jacksonville, Florida.
"Unfortunately, a number of members of the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department sustained injuries courageously tackling this blaze. My thoughts and the thoughts of everyone here at Höegh Autoliners, are very much with them today as we wish them a swift recovery.
"Jacksonville fire fighters responded immediately and have worked tirelessly to control the fire. They must receive our sincere gratitude for their professional response and their sheer hard work.
"We are continuing to work closely with all agencies and partners involved in this case to bring the situation under control.”