The source of the Cutty Sark fire last year (one that we bombastically claimed had "destroyed" the clipper) has been identified: an industrial vacuum cleaner, missing its thermal regulator switch, was accidentally left switched on over the weekend. It subsequently overheated and sparked a blaze on the stern of the ship in the wee hours of Monday. Security guards, since dismissed, were tardy in reporting the fire as it spread, and investigators cited general incompetence and "dangerous work practises" as a contributing factor. Despite causing an additional £10m worth of work, the ship is scheduled to be renovated by 2010, thanks to donations from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Israeli shipping magnate Sammy Ofer.
Vac Sparked Sark Blaze
Last Updated 30 September 2008