More than 150 passengers were forced to abandon a ferry which caught fire off Mallorca yesterday afternoon (Tuesday).
The ship Sorrento was sailing from Palma to Valencia when the blaze began and quickly got out of control. The vessel is now in danger of sinking.
The passengers were evacuated from the burning ferry onto lifeboats and were rescued by one of two other ships called on to assist 17 mikes west of Mallorca.
Four crew members were injured and went to hospital by helicopter, according to local media reports. One of them is said to be seriously hurt.
Three coastguard vessels were later sent to the vicinity together with two civil guard vessels and a helicopter.
Spanish ferry operator Transmediterranea said that the Sorrento was not carrying any dangerous cargo on Tuesday’s crossing.
The fire broke out on the port side of the ferry, but there was no confirmation of what had caused the blaze.
Spain’s infrastructure ministry said the captain had not initially considered it necessary to evacuate the passengers.
But when it became clear that the crew was unable to control the fire, the captain gave orders for all on board to get into life rafts positioned on the starboard side of the ferry, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The 186-metre-long ferry, on hire from the Grimaldi Group fleet, has been used by the Spanish company since 2014. It has a capacity for 954 passengers and 150 vehicles.
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