More than 200 rescued from blazing ferry in Baltic

Saturday 09 October 2010 09:40

More than 200 passengers and crew were evacuated after a ferry caught fire near the German island of Fehmarn in the Baltic Sea, German authorities said today.

The Lithuanian passenger and car ferry Lisco Gloria was en route from the northern city of Kiel to the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda when an explosion occurred around midnight local time, the German Central Command for Maritime Emergencies said.

"There are currently no indications at all that this could have been a terror attack," a spokesman said. "Of course the police will investigate this further, but it seems to have been an accident."

The ferry MS Deutschland and a police vessel had been nearby at the time at the accident and came to the rescue of passengers either swimming in the water or clinging to liferafts.

Several people were injured and three taken to hospital by helicopter, the spokesman said. The other passengers had arrived back in Kiel by ferry and would be questioned by police as part of their investigation into the incident.

Firefighters and rescue vessels remained with the stricken Lisco Gloria.

"The vessel is ablaze ... and it is realistic to expect that it will burn the whole day," the spokesman said. "There is currently no danger for other ships."

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