Two dead in Norway passenger ship fire
Two crew members on the ill-fated passenger ship "MS Nordlys" (the MS Northern Lights) succumbed to the injuries inflicted in a fire that broke out on Thursday morning when the ship was sailing on a regular voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes, Xinhua reported.
The deceased were put on life support after they were rescued and sent to a local hospital in Aalesund along with 16 others, who were also injured in the fire incident.
Two of the 16 injured were in critical conditions, according to hospital sources in Aalesund, a port city over 200 kilometers north of Bergen, the second largest city in Norway.
The dead and the injured were all crew members on the "MS Nordlys", one of the ships in the fleet operated by the Hurtigruten company to carry tourists for sightseeing along Norway's western coast.
Nobody on board the ship was missing, police said.
A total of 262 persons, including 207 passengers and 55 crew members, were on board the ship when the fire broke out in the engine room before it called on the Aalesund port.
After the police was notified about the fire at 9:20 in the morning, two rescue helicopters and a fire helicopter were sent to the ship in a rescue effort.
Some crew of the ship joined in the rescue operation.
Police in Aalesund said that the cause of the fire is under investigation.
Residents in downtown Aalesund were asked to take precautionary measures such as turning off ventilation systems and keeping windows closed as smoke from the ship covered some parts of the city.
Guests and staff from a Aalesund hotel close to the quay, where the ship docked, had to flee from the thick smoke generated by the fire. The hotel would remain closed for at least two days, said a report from Aalesund.
The ship, built in 1994 in Germany, was on a six-day voyage from Bergen, the second largest city in Norway, to Kirkenes, a city on the most northeastern part of the country.