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BREAKING NEWS: 500 People Rescued From Burning Ferry In Puerto Rico


The ferry on fire this morning in San Juan

SAN JUAN — At least 500 passengers were being evacuated this morning from a ship that caught fire about a mile off Puerto Rico’s north coast.

The fire was still burning aboard the Caribbean Fantasy, a combination cruise and ferry vessel, as the U.S. Coast Guard prepared a mass-rescue craft to bring passengers safely to the San Juan harbor.

No major injuries have been reported and no one is missing, Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad said in a phone interview.

Three adults and a child are being treated for minor injuries, CNN affiliate Univison reports.

The fire erupted in the engine room and is currently spreading to the rest of the ship, Miami-based Coast Guard spokeswoman Marilyn Fajardo said by phone.

She said passengers are sliding down into rescue rafts, with 50 people still on board as of late this morning.

The ship runs several times weekly between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and was arriving in San Juan when the fire broke out, Castrodad said. It is unclear what caused the fire.

Police say smoke was spotted this morning aboard the Caribbean Fantasy as it traveled near Puerto Rico’s north coast.

San Juan Police officer Aurelis Colon said in a telephone interview that the ship has since docked safely in Puerto Rico.

There were 512 passengers and crew on board the stricken vessel, which was about one mile from the San Juan Harbor, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Pictures and video on social media show passengers evacuating the large ship to the smaller Coast Guard vessels.

Photos tweeted by Puerto Rican authorities showed smoke coming from the rear of the ship.

tweet PR

  Photo tweeted by Maribel Davila




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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region since 1989. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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