Over 600 people evacuated after cruise ship catches fire off Norway

RESCUERS evacuated around 600 tourists and crew from a German cruise ship docked in a Norwegian port after its engine room caught fire, emergency services said.

“There is a fire onboard the MS Deutschland. It originated in the engine room (and) has entailed such a heat development that it has been necessary to evacuate almost everyone from the ship to land,” Per Fjeld, the regional rescue service spokesman said.

“We have so far not received reports of any injuries,” he added.

When the fire broke out at around noon local time, 607 people were onboard including 364 passengers, 334 of them German, 241 crew members and two Norwegian pilots, Fjeld said

Other passengers included citizens of Australia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel and Japan.

“I have just heard that all the passengers are on land,” he said, adding that some essential crew had remained onboard, where firefighters were busy battling the blaze.

The German cruise ship was docked deep in the picturesque Hardanger Fjord, at the port of the small town of Eidfjord, not far from Norway’s second largest city Bergen on the west coast.

“We are using pumps and hoses to try to cool down the hull,” Fjeld said, adding that it was too early to say how much damage the ship had suffered.

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