Cruise Ship Fire Causes Evacuation of More than 500 Passengers
Photo via Twitter
On Wednesday, more than 500 passengers and crew members were evacuated from a cruise ship about a mile off Puerto Rico's north coast due to a massive fire onboard the vessel.
According to The Associated Press, the fire on the Caribbean Fantasy—operated by America Cruise Ferries—erupted in the engine room when a hose carrying fuel split, igniting a blaze that crew members attempted to get under control for two hours before it began spreading to other parts of the ship.
The United States Coast Guard began evacuating passengers from the vessel and bringing them to San Juan harbor where the ship was arriving when the fire broke out. Officials said all of the passengers had been removed, and teams were working on rescuing 26 crew members.
While the full extent of the injuries from the incident was unclear, reports suggest several dozen people were carried out on stretchers due to dehydration, high blood pressure and respiratory problems.
The official Twitter account of the Puerto Rican Police Department shared photos of the fire:
AHORA: Agentes de FURA atienden emergencia en crucero American CruIse Ferries en costas de SJ pic.twitter.com/ctVLncGL95— Policía Puerto Rico (@PRPDNoticias) August 17, 2016
Onboard were many children who were rescued by Coast Guard boats and a plethora of Dominican athletes headed to competitions in Puerto Rico, including a 22-member cycling team, a girls' volleyball team and a boys' baseball team.
The passengers who were uninjured were evacuated from the ship and taken by bus away from the area. The Caribbean Fantasy runs several times a week between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
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