[WATCH] Maltese oil tanker catches fire near Cyprus

While the conditions under which the fire broke out are not entirely clear, Cypriot media and locals say that an explosion preceded the fire, with residents on shore recording footage of the burning vessel

Maltese-registered 'Athlos' tanker caught fire in Zygi, Cyprus
Maltese-registered 'Athlos' tanker caught fire in Zygi, Cyprus

A burning vessel close to the southern shores of Cyprus is none other than the 'Athlos' tanker brandishing the Maltese flag.

Cypriot media reported the incident earlier this morning. The Maltese-registered vessel has quickly changed course and is approaching the shoreline at the time of writing, in the direction of the Aspropyrgos port.

Live tracking of the Athlos movements
Live tracking of the Athlos movements

The fire apparently preceded an explosion with footage showing the Maltese vessel leaving a spoor of smoke in its wake.

The vessel is an oil tanker, transporting liquid petroleum gas.

Port police and the fire brigade went on site to investigate.

The Athlos oil tanker was built in 2010 and is the property of Chemjasmin Shipping with its home office in Malta. The builder is Soli Shipyard in Golcuk, Turkey.

The vessel underwent five name changes in 2018 alone from Jasmin to Athlos P, Athlopba, Gktlos and now Athlos. Measuring at 109m in length and 17m in breadth, Athlos has a gross tonnage of 4908 tons.

The vessel was last serviced in October of 2017, more than a year ago.

The investigations are ongoing.