Ship blaze off Shetland

About 160 crew members were being evacuated from a Russian factory ship off the Shetland islands last night after fire broke out. The Chernomorskaya Slava was berthed at Lerwick harbour when the captain radioed for help at 6.40pm. A Russian sister ship was alongside to take evacuees.

Six firemen boarded the ship to tackle the blaze, thought to have started in cardboard boxes in a hold. The Shetland coastguard helicopter, a lifeboat and other vessels incluing tugs and local fishing boat helped in the rescue. Another helicopter, from RAF Lossiemouth, was sent to the scene, the RAF search and rescue coordination centre at Pitreavie in Fife said.

There were no confirmed reports of injuries last night.