Probe launched after naval ship LE Niamh catches fire in Cork on the opposite side to where ammunition is stored

AN Irish naval ship was extensively damaged in a fire that broke out in a storage compartment shortly after midday.

The L.E.Niamh was berthed in Cork Dockyard in Cobh for routine maintenance when the duty crew noticed smoke coming from a section of the ship.

A fire broke out on LE Niamh earlier today

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A fire broke out on LE Niamh earlier today

There were four personnel on duty along with some civilian engineers who were working on the vessel at the time.

According to a Naval service spokesperson “The duty watch responded immediately and closed down the compartment.

“They engaged in initial first aid fire fighting during which they filled the compartment with foam from the fire extinguishers and with water from the hoses.

“They contact the Cobh fire service, who also arrived at the scene and they helped to bring the fire under control.

NO REPORTS OF INJURIES

“Thankfully there were  no reports of injuries”.

It’s understood some of the crew were treated by medics for some minor smoke inhalation which did not require hospitalisation.

However according to sources, the crew  were fortunate that the fire, the cause of which has yet to be determined, broke out in a section of the ship on the opposite side to where ammunition is stored in the ship’s  magazine.

The spokesperson said “There is ammunition on board but there was no danger of the fire spreading to other areas of the ship.”

BLAZE UNDER CONTROL

The fire on board the LE Niamh, a P52 vessel, which is named after the Queen of Tir na nOg, was brought under control about three hours after the blaze was spotted.

The ship was involved in some high profile operations including the seizure of €750m worth of cocaine in 2008 and was also involved in the surveillance which led to a E80m drugs bust  in 2014.

The Niamh was one of the naval ships  sent to the Mediterranean from July to September 2015 where  it’s crew rescued 367 migrants trying to make their way from Africa to Europe in small boats and fragile sea vessels.

The extent of the damage to the ship is not yet known but the fire will be fully investigated and an attempt made to determine what caused it.

As yet the Navy cannot say if the incident will result in the LE Niamh being unable to go back  to sea in the near future.

No naval staff or Cork dockyards employees are believed to have been injured in the inferno.

Cork, Ireland – The Sun