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Cruise ship drifts in South China Sea after fire (UPDATE)

Other News Materials 31 March 2012 10:25 (UTC +04:00)
A cruise ship carrying about 600 US and European tourists caught fire on Saturday off the southern Philippines, injuring at least five crew members, officials said, dpa reported.
Cruise ship drifts in South China Sea after fire (UPDATE)

Details added, first version published at 09:33

A cruise ship carrying about 600 US and European tourists caught fire on Saturday off the southern Philippines, injuring at least five crew members, officials said, dpa reported.

The Azamara Quest was on a 17-day cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore and was near Sandakan, Malaysia when the fire broke out Saturday morning, said Lieutenant Colonel Omar Tonsay, a Philippine Navy spokesman.

The fire had already been put out, he added.

Tonsay said navy and coast guard rescue teams were on their way to the ship, which was reportedly drifting without power in the South China Sea bordering the Philippines and Malaysia.

Five crew members were reported injured while putting out the fire in the engine room, the Philippine coast guard said.

A statement from Azamara Quest said one of the crew members was "more seriously injured" and would be transported to hospital once the ship arrives in Sandakan.

The ship left Hong Kong on March 26 and made a port call in Manila before heading to Sandakan, Malaysia.

The cruise was also supposed to make several port calls in Indonesia, including in the tourist island of Bali, before concluding in Singapore on April 12.

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