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Cargo ship adrift near Aleutian island towed to Dutch Harbor

An 872-foot container ship that went adrift north of Akutan in Alaska's Aleutian Islands Friday night has been towed to Dutch Harbor, the U.S. Coast Guard said Saturday.

A fire in the engine room of the Laura Maersk left the container ship without power, according to an initial Coast Guard report relayed by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. The ship was reported adrift about 7 miles north of Akutan Island at 8 p.m. Friday, the report said.

It was drifting toward the island and was estimated to be about four hours away from hitting Akutan's shoreline with 51,500 gallons of fuel oil and other petroleum products aboard, the report said.

The Coast Guard "contracted with available tugboats for an immediate emergency response," and a tug made it to the disabled ship by about 11 p.m., according to the Coast Guard and DEC.

As of Saturday morning, the ship had been safely towed to Dutch Harbor, Petty Officer 2nd Class Meredith Manning said. None of the 24 crew members aboard were injured.

The Coast Guard is investigating the incident, Manning said.

The cargo ship's home port is in Denmark, according to the Coast Guard.

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