5 injured in cruise ship fire
MANILA, Philippines — Five people were injured in a fire that broke out from a cruise ship 140 miles from Sandakan, Sabah Friday night, according to a statement posted on its website.
Five crew members suffered smoke inhalation during the fire that broke out but was quickly extinguished in an engine room Friday 8:19 p.m. ship time, according to the Azmara Quest.
The victims are being treated in a medical facility, it said.
One, however, is considered in “unstable condition” and requires urgent medical attention that can only be provided in a hospital, the Azamara said.
“Once the ship arrives in Sandakan, the crew member will be immediately transported to a local area hospital,” it added.
The Philippine Coast Guard identified the injured in unstable condition as Juan Carlos Rivera Escobar.
The PCG said they were still verifying if any of the injured were Filipinos. The 30,000-ton, 95-feet wide, with a speed of 22 knots cruise ship carries a mix of 590 European and American tourists. About 120 of the 411 crew members are Filipinos.
“We also have four Philippine Coast Guard ships on the way now to the scene located in the middle of Sulu Sea to render assistance,” Vice Admiral Edmund Tan of the PCG said.
Meanwhile, the incident prompted the management to cancel the rest of the voyage once it arrives in Sandakan. The ship was on a 17-night cruise that started in Hong Kong, China, on Monday, March 26, with port calls to Manila, Philippines; Balikpapan (Borneo), Palapo (Sulawesi), Benoa Bali, Semarang and Komodo, Indonesia and will supposedly end in Singapore on April 12.
The engineers onboard are continuing to work on restoring the propulsion of the ship. Only then the Azamara could provide its estimated time of arrival in Sandakan, it said.
President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Pimentel is scheduled to arrive in Sandakan Monday morning to meet the Azamara guests.