Cargo ship that dropped 40 containers into the sea off British Columbia catches fire

More than a dozen people have now been rescued from a cargo ship that caught fire on Saturday and continues to burn near Victoria.

The Canadian Coast Guard says the fire broke out on the MV Zim Kingston, which is currently at anchor in Constance Bank near Victoria.

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria says 16 crew members have been evacuated by Coast Guard while five remain on board. They say no injuries have been reported and there has been no call to abandon ship.

The ship on fire is the same vessel that lost around 40 shipping containers Friday near Vancouver Island after it encountered rough seas.

The MV Zim Kingston tilted 35 degrees in heavy swells west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, off Cape Flattery, the United States Coast Guard said in an online statement.

The ship was on its way to Vancouver from South Korea at the time.

The Coast Guard said it is monitoring the containers and are warning boaters that these containers may be submerged and not visible.

Helicopter flew over the area and spotted eight containers in the water. A locating beacon was then dropped from the helicopter.

“The vessel has gone to anchorage at Constance Bank at Victoria and they’re doing an inventory right now,” Joe Spears, managing director of the Horseshoe Bay Marine Group said.

It is unclear at this point if the containers will make their way to the coast.

The containers on fire hold more than 52,080 kilograms of potassium amylxanthate. Potassium amylxanthate is a compound that is often used in the mining industry as a mineral processing agent.

A 1.6 kilometre emergency zone has been established around the anchored container ship, as it continues to burn and expel toxic gas.