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Fire-stricken ship heads back to port

Fire broke out on the vessel on Friday, a day after it left Manila for Malaysia, carrying 1,001 people, mainly European and American tourists.

Operator Azamara Club Cruises said five crew suffered smoke inhalation, but that no passengers were injured. After crossing from Philippines into Malaysian waters earlier on Sunday, the liner, travelling at a speed of six knots, was escorted to Sandakan by a Malaysian patrol boat.

Back to safety: Azamara Quest docked at Sandakan Port, Malaysia, after it was escorted by a patrol boat. Pic/AFP.

Police and buses were waiting at the port to take passengers to various hotels. The company has said that the rest of the ship’s voyage will now be cancelled.

Azamara Club Cruises said the blaze in one of the ship’s engine rooms had been immediately extinguished. The fire left the Azamara Quest disabled at sea for a day before power was restored to one of the engines on Saturday evening.

One passenger said dinner was about to be served when the fire broke out. “One of the engineers ran up covered in oil, running through the dining room and smoke filled the dining room and everybody was evacuated and given life jackets,” she said.

1,011 The number of passengers and crew members aboard the ship that caught fire on Friday

5 The number of crew members who suffered from smoke inhalation

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