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Italian cruise liner on fire

Updated: 2012-02-28 11:14
( Xinhua)

ROME - An Italian cruise ship went adrift in the Indian Ocean Monday, 418 km southwest off the Seychelles, following a fire, the ship's company said.

No injuries nor casualties had been reported among the 636 passengers and 413 crew members, said the ship's operator Costa Cruises, whose Costa Concordia ran aground off Italy last month, leaving at least 25 people dead.

The fire reportedly developed in the engine room of the 187-meter-long Costa Allegra, leaving the cruise ship without power.

Firefighters intervened to extinguish the blaze, company sources said.

Italian cruise liner on fire

Costa Allegra crusier is seen in this undated photo in Italy. [Photo/Agencies]

The operations center of the Coast Guard in Rome has sent three commercial and two fishing boats to participate in the rescue while the Seychelles authorities have sent two tugs, a ship and a plane, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

"There are no safety concerns for the ship Costa Allegra off the Seychelles," the Italian consul for the Seychelles, Claudio Izzi, was quoted by ANSA as saying.

"The fire was extinguished, the ship had departed from Mauritius en route to the Seychelles where it should arrive tomorrow morning at 8:00," Izzi said.

"The ship is adrift with no power, but the situation is calm and the captain has assembled the passengers on the decks of the ship," Giorgio Moretti, head of Costa Cruises nautical operations, told reporters.

The ship's condition is stable and there is no risk of it running aground or hitting rocks, said Moretti, adding that thanks to an emergency battery, there is light on the ship.

As there are neither air conditioning nor cooking facilities, passengers will be given bread, water and fruit before a helicopter arrives on Tuesday morning with more aid, Moretti said.

Passengers aboard the ship come from 25 nations and territories. Among them, 127 passengers are from France and 126 from Italy.