Monday, May 21, 2007

Clipper Cutty Sark gutted by fire

The Cutty Sark, the oldest surviving fast tea clipper, was ravaged by fire yesterday, possibly as a result of arson, as she sat at drydock in London while undergoing restoration.

Sydney Morning Herald
Cutty Sark gutted by fire
May 21, 2007 - 5:19PM

A suspicious fire has ravaged the world's last remaining tea clipper, the Cutty Sark, which helped build Australia's early economy by speeding prized wool shipments to London.

The blaze broke out early today as the 138-year-old ship sat in its dry dock in south London, where it had been undergoing a £11.75 million ($28.2 million) restoration.

Police Inspector Bruce Middlemiss said officers were treating the fire as suspicious and a number of people had been in the area about the time it broke out. Officers were examining CCTV footage.

Early reports said damage to the vessel was extensive, but authorities later expressed confidence it could be rebuilt, adding that many crucial artifacts were not aboard due to the restoration work.

The rest of the story here.

And for a bit of the history of this wonderful full-rigged clipper, go here.

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