Ferry fire rescue

PASSENGERS on board a ferry which caught fire have been rescued and transported to the port of Palma.

A fire took hold on board the Italian ship, named Sorrento, during its route from Palma to Valencia. It left port at 11.50am with 152 passengers on board.

It is reported that there were around 13 nationalities on board and many were residents in Mallorca. Around two hours later a major fire broke out on the fourth deck and quickly spread throughout the vessel with a column of black smoke being visible from several miles away.

With the Sorrento raising the alarm, three vessels headed out to help it including a ferry which covers the same route and had left 10 minutes earlier. Maritime Rescue was also sent out.

Passengers were taken on board the Puglia boat and taken to the port of Palma. Two passengers who had failed to reach the evacuation zone were rescued by helicopter and taken to the Espases Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and an anxiety attack. Both were later released.

Red Cross workers were deployed to meet the passengers as soon as they landed at the dock and Acciona Trasmediterránea which operates the ferry, has set up a phone number for concerned families of the occupants of the boat who require information. The hotline number is 971 707 202.

Salvage workers are now working to try and prevent the boat from sinking out at sea.

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