Fire-fighting efforts have stopped on the ferry DFDS LISCO Gloria because of fears that further water on the vessel might cause it to capsize.
Passengers have been evacuated.
Fire broke out on the upper deck following an explosion at about midnight, 9 October. Terrorism has been ruled out.
Says a DFDS announcement:
“At 00.30 hours this morning, 9 October, we received notification that a fire had broken out on the combined passenger/freight vessel, LISCO GLORIA, while it was en route from Kiel to Klaipeda. The fire is still burning.
German firefighters are at the scene and the ship is receiving assistance from several vessels in the region, including the ferry Deutschland, operated by Baltic ferry company Scandlines.
According to the passenger list there are 204 passengers on board and 32 crew members. The passengers have been evacuated by lifeboat, and from there onto Scandlines’ ferry. Three people have been taken to hospital by helicopter to be treated for smoke inhalation.
At this time, there is no further information on any other casualties, fatalities or missing persons.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. The ship is registered in Lithuania and sails under the Lithuanian flag. The Lithuanian shipping company DFDS Lisco is owned by DFDS. We will provide further information as soon as it becomes available.”
An Associated Press report quotes Ulrike Windhoevel, a spokeswoman for Germany’s maritime emergencies center: “People were lucky because it all happened on a major shipping route, that’s why the other vessels were quickly on hand to rescue people,” said “.