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Swedish coastguard aids blazing ferry

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Swedish coastguard aids blazing ferry
11:14 CET+01:00
The Swedish coastguard came to the aid of a Danish ferry travelling from Oslo to Copenhagen on Wednesday after a fire broke out onboard.

The fire on the vessel broke out early Wednesday on the ferry but was put out after two hours, the ferry's owner and the Swedish sea rescue service said.

"The alarm went off around 6:00 am (0500 GMT). The fire started on the car deck and began either in a car or a trailer," Stellan E-son Skeppargaard, who heads the sea rescue service in the southwestern Swedish towns of Höganäs and Mölle, told AFP.

Swedish firefighters were air-dropped onto the DFDS ferry, the Pearl of Scandinavia, by helicopter and had been considering evacuating the 490 passengers and 161 crew.

"The passengers were evacuated from their cabins to a muster station, but it was not necessary to evacuate anyone from the ship," DFDS said in a statement.

"The fire has now been put out and there are no injuries," it added.

The Swedish coastguard said in a statement it had sent two boats and a helicopter to help extinguish the flames, while the sea rescue service had sent two boats and Danish authorities one.

The ferry, carrying 190 cars and one coach, had stood off of Höganäs during the rescue effort but was now continuing its voyage to Copenhagen, Skeppargaard said.

A coastguard vessel was escorting it to the port.

DFDS spokesperson Gert Jakobsen also told the Danish Politiken daily's online edition

around 0830 GMT that the ferry would soon dock in the Danish capital.

"When the ship docks, the passengers who need it will be offered crisis assistance. And we will of course also take care of our crew, who have been involved in the extinguishing work on the car deck," he told the paper.

Last month, an explosion on another DFDS-owned ferry, the Lithuanian-flagged Lisco Gloria, travelling from Kiel in Germany to the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda, caused a fire that burned for more than 30 hours before it was put out.

The 249 people onboard that ferry were all evacuated, and some were treated for smoke inhalation but no one suffered serious injuries.

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