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Monday, Feb 26, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.


Cargo ship’s lithium-ion battery fire contained; anchored near Dutch Harbor

U.S. Coast Guard declares fire out on Genius Star XI; Crew safe, investigation into origins under way

The Genius Star XI carried the lithium-ion batteries.
The Genius Star XI carried the lithium-ion batteries. Via Mr.choppers/Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed on Saturday that a fire, sparked by lithium-ion batteries on board the cargo ship Genius Star XI, has been successfully extinguished. The vessel has been directed to anchor near Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

According to a Coast Guard press release, all 19 crew members on Genius Star XI are unharmed. Salvage and Marine Firefighting technicians remain on board to ensure the fire does not reignite.

“This protected anchorage will allow the vessel to stay stable,” Captain Chris Culpepper, of Captain of the Port, said, “minimizing the risk of any re-ignition as we continue our response.”

The investigation into the fire’s origin will commence once response efforts conclude.

Genius Star XI was en route to San Diego

Genius Star XI, which was transporting lithium-ion batteries from Vietnam to San Diego, raised the alarm early Thursday by notifying the Coast Guard. They pumped carbon dioxide into hold No. 1, where the fire originated, and sealed it to prevent a potential explosion.

The 410-foot (125-meter) cargo ship was redirected to Dutch Harbor, located in Unalaska, an Aleutian Islands community approximately 800 miles southwest of Anchorage. Upon arrival on Friday, the vessel was positioned two miles from the shore to reduce the risk of toxic gases affecting the community and the environment, according to Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Mike Salerno in an email to The Associated Press.

The ship’s owners, Wisdom Marine Group, assured that there have been no oil leaks associated with the fire. The investigation into the incident’s cause will unfold as responders complete their efforts.

The Genius Star XI is registered in Panama. The ship was en route from Vietnam to Dutch Harbor transporting the lithium-ion batteries when the fire started.

Read More: Lithium South Development technical report shows 40% increase in lithium recovery

Read More: Lithium South Development Increases Lithium Resource by 175% and begins well-drilling program at Argentina’s Hombre Muerto North

Lithium-ion battery fires on the rise

Interestingly, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) held a forum last year to address a rise in product-based lithium-ion fires. In some cases, consumer product fires related to lithium-ion batters have been fatal.

For example, on Jan. 4 of this year, the CPSC warned consumers to stop using a specific lithium-ion battery sold by ZAUTNKN.INC due to fire hazards. In addition, the organization warned that the batteries had not been verified to meet national safety standards. The products are marketed as a replacement battery pack for cordless v6 Dyson vacuum cleaners. However, the batteries are not manufactured or approved by Dyson, the warning said.

Three reports of fires and one report of smoke inhalation associated with the battery packs were previously reported, the CPSC stated.


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