An elderly chemical tanker has been severely damaged by a blaze at a ship repair yard in Colombia.

El Heraldo daily reported on Tuesday that the 880-dwt Togo-flag Antares (built 1992) was “partially destroyed” by the fire in Portete.

The blaze began at midday and the port captain of Puerto Bolivar, Julian Salgado Mesa, immediately put an emergency plan into action.

Four workers were repairing the engine at the time and reported the blaze.

“Once we observed the size of the fire that was already threatening to completely destroy the ship, we ordered the activation of the Mutual Aid Plan, which consists of notifying the motor ships that are in the area so that with the resources they have they can provide the help that is necessary and that they are able to dispense,” Salgado Mesa said.

All personnel on board were safely evacuated as firefighting efforts began.

The blaze was brought under control after several hours.

Specialists then boarded to carry out cooling work.

No injuries or pollution were reported.

Out of action for three years

The report said the vessel, the former Caribbean H, has been moored in the port for three years by order of the country’s maritime authority.

The Equasis database lists the ship as operated by Ergo Group Warranty of Panama since 2015.

There is only one port state inspection listed for the tanker, in Panama in 2017.

The Antares was not detained but was found to have 10 deficiencies, including faults relating to lifebuoys, catwalks, the AIS system and the echo-sounder.

There has been no AIS update from the ship since 2017.