Middle East

Ferry fire: Hundreds evacuated between Jordan and Egypt

Ferry being hosed down after catching ablaze in the Gulf of Aqaba, 3 November 2011
The ferry caught fire not long after leaving Aqaba

More than 1,200 passengers have been evacuated from a ferry that caught fire in the Red Sea.

Egyptian officials said all the passengers had been saved, but officials in Jordan said a Jordanian man had died after jumping overboard.

The ferry was travelling between the Jordanian port of Aqaba and Nuweiba in Egypt. The fire broke out when it was about 15 nautical miles from Aqaba.

Most of the passengers were said to be Egyptian migrant workers.

A Jordanian civil defence spokesman said 12 passengers had suffered from smoke inhalation and were taken to hospital in Jordan.

Map of Egypt and Jordan

The rest had been put on other boats to sail back to Egypt, he said.

Egyptian TV reported that military aircraft as well as boats had been deployed in the rescue operation.

The ferry was owned by Arab Bridge Maritime Company (AB Maritime), a joint venture between the governments of Jordan, Egypt and Iraq, Reuters news agency reported.

In 2006, more than 1,000 people were killed after a ferry crossing from Saudi Arabia and Egypt sank in the Red Sea.

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