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New Chinese Assault Aircraft Carrier Catches Fire

PortandTerminal.com, April 11, 2020

BEIJING – China’s first Type 075 amphibious assault ship (also called helicopter carrier) caught on fire on Saturday at the Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai.

Beijing-based naval expert Li Jie was quoted by Global Times on Saturday that smoke concentrated on the middle and rear areas of the ship.

It is unclear how much damage has been done to the amphibious assault ship at this time, although it appears the fire emanated from, or at least involved, its well deck. A well deck is a floodable garage-like space that is used on amphibious assault ships for launching and recovering ship-to-shore transport boats and hovercraft, as well as amphibious fighting vehicles.

Judging from the thickness of the smoke, the fire was put under control quickly, and since no open flames were seen, the fire should have been extinguished very quickly, Li said.

An expert in the shipbuilding industry said that the thick smoke indicated the emergency response was fast. “Although thick smoke was seen on the ship, the accident was not significant and will not wield any major impact on further construction,” state-owned Global Times publication reported quoting ‘sources in the know.’

READ: Russia’s only aircraft carrier stricken by fire in latest mishap

Photos circulating on the internet showed that the stern of a Type 075 amphibious assault ship was blackened by a fire, and certain videos showed that there was fire at the stern, and columns of smoke were billowing with the wind, the publication said.

The ship, the first Type 075 of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, and the warship was still under construction. According to plan, the ship would conduct equipment calibration, mooring and sea trials.

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