Two die in fire on Arctic cruise ship
Friday 16 September 2011
Two people died and 16 were injured yesterday in a fire on a cruise ship operating on a popular route along Norway's craggy coast.
Nine were taken to hospital, two with serious burns and smoke injuries. Police say they have accounted for everyone on board.
The MS Nordlys, carrying 262 people, caught fire at 9.20am before arriving in Alesund, 230 miles north-west of Oslo.
More than 100 passengers were evacuated into lifeboats before the ship reached port. Some of the 55 crew members stayed on the ship to help firefighters battle the blaze and search for missing people.
Hurtigruten ASA, the Norwegian operator of the ship, said eight of its crew were among those sent to hospital. People were evacuated from the centre of Alesund, including residents of a hotel, because of the thick smoke spreading across the city from the burning vessel.
The MS Nordlys is one of several ships that ply the Norwegian coast on the popular 1,500-mile cruise between the south-western city of Bergen and Kirkenes, high above the Arctic Circle near the Russian border. The line carries both tourists and local people from coastal cities and hamlets.
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