PUERTO RICO – More than 500 escape cruise ship fire
SAN JUAN – The US Coast Guard is investigating the cause of a fire that forced the evacuation of more than 500 people from the Caribbean Fantasy cruise ship off Puerto Rico Wednesday.
The 561-foot vessel was traveling from Puerto Rico to Santo Domingo, as it does several times a week, when the fire began in the engine room and then spread to other areas.
The 511 passengers and 26 crew members were evacuated on emergency slides and taken by rescue craft to San Jan Harbour.
Many of them required medical attention but there were no fatalities or life-threatening injuries, according to ABC News.
The Associated Press further reported that several dozen passengers were treated for dehydration, high blood pressure and respiratory problems from the smoke.
The US Coast Guard said it had received a report about the fire aboard the Panamanian-flagged vessel around 7:42 a.m.
The ship ran aground approximately half a nautical mile offshore of Punta Salinas, a few hours later, after the passengers and crew had been evacuated.