Two dead in dramatic Norwegian cruise ship fire
The coastal cruiser 'Nordlys' is docked in Aalesund. There is a fire in the engine room.Foto: Ivar Eidheim/NRK
Two people from the ship's crew are dead, and 16 people were injured in a dramatic fire on board the Norwegian coastal cruise liner «Nordlys». All the injured belong to the crew.
Publisert 15.09.2011 11:13. Oppdatert 15.09.2011 16:46.
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All passengers are evacuated to hotels in Ålesund. Many of the passengers aboard «Nordlys» are foreign tourists.
The ship is at pier in Ålesund and is taking in water. Late in the afternoon there was still a fear that the ship may capsize.
Nine to hospital
The fire started in the engine room of «Nordlys» shortly after nine o' clock local time while the ship was outside Ålesund on the north west coast of Norway. The police investigating the accident say an explosion may have caused the fire.
The ship's engine failed when the fire started and "Nordlys" needed help from the Coast Guard to reach the pier at Ålesund.
Nine of the injured have been taken to hospital. Two of them suffers serious injuries and seven have lighter injuries.
The fire brigrade has been going through the ship.Foto: Ivar Eidheim/NRK
One of the dead was found in the engine room, it is unclear where the other was found.
«Nordlys» is now at pier in Aalesund, where special units from the fire departement have been seeking through the entire ship.
At 13.05 the Aalesund fire brigade informed that the fire is under control, though it is not totally put out.
There was no panic during the evacuation.Foto: André Ulveseter / Kystverket/SCANPIX
Earlier there was an enormous amount of black smoke coming from the ship, and people in parts of the center of Aalesund was ordered to evacuate, including all guests at one hotel near the pier. It is unclear if the smoke was toxic.
All of the passengers were evacuated from the ship, according to the cruise line Hurtigruten. They have all been taken to a hotel nearby.
«Nordlys» is part of the famous norwegian cruiseline Hurtigruten. The journey starts in Bergen on the west coast and follows the coast up to Kirkenes in Finnmark before the ships - they are combined passenger ships and cruise ships - return to Bergen.
Some of the passengers have told that they at first did not think it was dramatic. They were told to go up on deck, where they put on life vests and were told to get on board the life boats. There was no panic, they say.
The NRK reporters on the spot describe a more dramatic situation when the ship docked in Ålesund. The smoke was so thick on the side of the dock that the passengers had to be taken aboard boats on the water side.
They also told about thick black smoke covering the city center, and that many people living or working near the pier has been evacuated.
If you got relatives on board, you can call this number:
Hotline for relatives: +47 47 83 47 00
Here is information in English on the cruise line Hurtigruten's website: Hurtigruten
VIDEO: The fire - early phase.
ÅlesundKilde: Google Maps
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