THE HAGUE, Netherlands: A fire on a freight ship carrying nearly 3,000 cars was burning out of control Wednesday in the North Sea, killing one crew member and injuring others, AP reported, citing the Dutch coast guard.

The agency said it was working to save the vessel from sinking close to an important habitat for migratory birds.

Boats and helicopters were used to get the 23 crew members off the ship after they tried unsuccessfully to put out the blaze, the coast guard said in a statement. The cause of the blaze wasn’t immediately known, and it wasn’t clear how the crew member died.

The Fremantle Highway was sailing from the German port of Bremerhaven to Singapore when it caught fire about 27 kilometres (17 miles) north of the Dutch island of Ameland.

Some of the crew members jumped off the ship’s deck into the sea and were picked up by a lifeboat, the lifeboat’s captain told Dutch broadcaster NOS. Some of the crew suffered broken bones, burns and breathing problems and were taken to hospitals in the northern Netherlands, emergency services said.