News

2017 Nov 13

Passenger ferry bursts into flames near Brit hols hotspot – 30 injured

The fire forced the ship, an Algerie Ferries vessel on route to Algeria from the French port city of Marseilles, to divert to the Brit holiday hotspot of Majorca in Spain.

Firefighters were scrambled to the ferry after it docked in Puerto de Alcudia at midnight to tackle the blaze that broke out in the cargo hold.

Officers said 26 people, mostly thought to have suffered smoke inhalation, suffered minor injuries in the fire and were treated in a field hospital set up in the port.

But three other people have been rushed to hospital with trauma injuries – although they are not thought to be life-threatening.

Pictures released by firefighters showed the vessel with its side blackened.

The ferry, named as Tariq-Ibn-Ziyad, was carrying 470 passengers and 137 crew and was evacuated after it reached dry land.

The blaze has since been brought under control by 20 firefighters, but has left 40 cars destroyed.

Alcudia mayor Antoni Mir said the passengers on-board the ship were left scared, and that there was a "minor outbreak of violence".

He said: "It was very difficult for them (the firefighters) to enter at first (due to the fire being at the back part of the ship).

“It’s been a very big operation. There were 15 Civil Protection response teams alone.

“People were scared and they needed to be calmed down because they didn’t know if their car had been affected or not. There was a minor outbreak of violence.”

Most of the passengers are believed to be French and Algerian.

As well as firefighters and paramedics, Red Cross officials and Civil Protection workers have also been involved in the major emergency response operation.

The 1995-built vessel had left Marseille yesterday just before 5pm local time.

Source: www.dailystar.co.uk; Nicholas Bieber & Gerard Couzens

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