Two crew members killed, nine injured in fire aboard Norwegian cruise ship
OSLO - An intense fire in a cruise ship’s engine room killed two crew members yesterday, injured nine others, and forced more than 200 passengers to evacuate a cruise off Norway’s craggy western coast. Police suspect an accidental explosion.
Thick black smoke billowed from the stern of the boat, the MS Nordlys, of Norway’s Hurtigruten line, even before it pulled into the dock at Aalesund, 230 miles northwest of the capital of Oslo. Police sealed off parts of the town as the smoke engulfed nearby buildings.
The ship’s emergency evacuation began after the fire started at 9 a.m. with more than 100 passengers piling into lifeboats in the frigid waters. The rest of the ship’s 207 passengers and 55 crew members were evacuated at the dock at Aalesund, with some crew staying on board to fight the fire.
Aalesund Hospital said nine people had been admitted, two with serious burns and smoke injuries. Police said all of the injured and dead were members of the ship’s crew.
“Our suspicion is that there was an explosion in the machine room,’’ Acting Police Chief Yngve Skovly of the Sunnmoere Police District told reporters. He had no further details about a possible explosion but police said there was no suspicion of sabotage.
“The chief of Aalesund’s fire brigade, Geir Thorsen, described the fire as “big and intense.’’ He could not confirm reports that the ship’s fire extinguishing system did not work, but said its electrical system was knocked out.