Tyne & Wear

North Sea DFDS ferry fire: Man charged with arson

A burnt cabin on the MS King Seaways after a fire broke out
Image caption RAF helicopters airlifted a pregnant passenger and five crew members to hospital after the blaze

A man has been charged with arson after a fire broke out on a North Sea ferry.

Six people were airlifted to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation on the MS King Seaways, 30 miles from the Yorkshire coast, on Saturday night.

The DFDS Seaways ferry, which was bound for the Netherlands, had 946 passengers and 127 crew on board.

Northumbria Police said Boden George Hughes, 26, from Sunderland, had been charged with arson reckless to endangering life and affray.

He is due before magistrates in North Shields on Tuesday.

Another man aged 28, who was also arrested on suspicion of affray, has been released on bail.

The five crew members who fought the fire and a pregnant passenger were airlifted to Scarborough Hospital and later discharged.

DFDS said the fire had started at about 22:45 GMT on Saturday as the ferry sailed from North Shields to Ijmuiden, in the Netherlands, but was extinguished within 15 minutes.

It returned early on Sunday to North Shields, where passengers disembarked following police interviews.

Insp Andrew Dixon of Humberside Police said the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) had called them at about 23:00 GMT.

The company said it was doing "everything to help" passengers complete their journey from Tyneside.

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