Skip to main content

Passenger ferry catches fire in North Sea

By Mark Morgenstein, CNN
updated 9:59 PM EST, Sat December 28, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Ferry crew members detain a passenger
  • Fire broke out on a ship traveling from Newcastle, England, to Amsterdam
  • The ferry was carrying more than 1,000, shipping company spokesman says
  • Six on board were airlifted to a hospital

(CNN) -- A fire broke out in a passenger cabin as a ferry loaded with more than 1,000 people sailed across the North Sea from Newcastle, England, to the Netherlands on Saturday, a spokesman for the shipping company DFDS said.

Two Royal Air Force helicopters, as well as boats from the Humber Coastguard, descended on the ship, and initially were asked to extract 23 people from the Amsterdam-bound vessel, RAF Squadron Leader Dave Webster said.

But only 15 passengers needed to be checked for smoke-related injuries, and the smoke only affected six people -- four crew members and two passengers -- enough to merit airlifting them to a hospital, DFDS spokesman Gert Jakobsen said.

The fire broke out about four to five hours after the ship embarked from Newcastle, and the ferry's crew put it out quickly, Jakobsen said.

It's unclear whether the fire was accidental or intentional, but the ship's crew detained the passenger from the cabin where it occurred, Humberside police inspector Andrew Dixon said.

After the incident, the ship reversed course, back toward the UK, with about 120 crew members and 944 passengers, Jakobsen said. The ferry was expected to reach Newcastle early Sunday morning.

Northumbria police will take over the investigation from there, Dixon said.

CNN's Neda Farshbaf and Azadeh Ansari contributed to this report

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:01 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Put yourself in the shoes (and sixth-century black robes) of ISIS' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the mysterious boss of the terror group.
updated 1:00 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
China's Xi Jinping and India's Narendra Modi, leaders of the most populous nations face similar challenges. Can they learn from each other?
updated 6:36 PM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
The U.S. is not returning combat troops to Iraq, President Barack Obama insists.
updated 8:38 PM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
A man abducted alongside killed U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff tells CNN that no one from the U.S. government has tried to talk with him.
updated 11:08 AM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Mulatu Astatke is the founding father of ethio-jazz: a fusion of Ethiopian music with western jazz.
updated 9:11 AM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Have you been to these? The global museum list, released Tuesday, ranks 25 of the world's best museums.
updated 1:03 PM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
iOS 8, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, comes with new features that you'll enjoy.
updated 5:27 AM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Psychedelic drugs are being researched as a potential treatment for conditions ranging from anxiety to tobacco and alcohol addiction.
updated 9:42 PM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
It's a surfer's paradise -- but Diah Rahayu is out on her own when it comes to professional women's wave-riding in Bali.
updated 10:09 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Even death couldn't part two skeletons excavated from a lost chapel in an English county, found with their fingers entwined.
updated 12:20 PM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT