Video: P&O cross-Channel ferry carrying 337 passengers catches fire

According to passengers the blaze lasted 20 minutes and a tug boat was eventually used to push the ship to port

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The Independent Online

A large fire broke out in the engine room of a cross-Channel ferry carrying over 300 passengers early on Monday morning.

The P&O passenger vessel, The Pride of Canterbury, was travelling from Dover to northern France when the blaze broke out at around 8am.

The fire, which is believed to have started in the ship’s engine room, led to large plumes of dark smoke engulfing the ship’s deck.

Passenger Ed Sproston caught the fire on camera, with the footage showing Sproston being  greeted by thick black smoke as he steps onto the ship’s deck.

In the video you can hear the fire alarm sounding in the background and an unidentified voice saying, "The captain's just said the starboard engines weren't working properly."

Sproston told the Dover Express, that the smoke went on for 20 minutes and that the captain had told passengers that a tugboat would be needed to push the ship to port.

Reports from P&O said that the fire was eventually extinguished and no passengers were harmed as a result.

In a statement released by the company a spokeswoman said: “"The fire was extinguished straight away by the sprinkler system. There were no injuries, either among the crew or passengers.

"The passengers disembarked as normal."

One scheduled journey set to embark from Dover at 9.50 was cancelled, however it is believed a normal service has now resumed.

Passengers that were on the boat were put onto a later boat so that their travel plans were not disrupted too much.