Speed Reads

Fires

Hundreds rescued from burning ship off coast of Puerto Rico

After a fire broke out in its engine room, more than 500 passengers and crew members on a ship off the coast of Puerto Rico had to be rescued Wednesday afternoon. 


The passengers were safely evacuated to San Juan's harbor, where 105 people were treated at the scene, most for shock, dehydration, and heat stroke, and 24 were hospitalized. The Caribbean Fantasy is a combination ferry and cruise ship, and an engineer told The Associated Press he spent two hours with another engineer trying to extinguish the fire. The ship runs several times a week between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and most of the passengers, including a boys' baseball team, a cycling team, and a girls' volleyball team, were Dominican.

"It was like something out of a movie," passenger Maria Prensa told AP. "You panic when you see that. You're in the middle of the ocean and there's a fire. Imagine that." The U.S. Coast Guard has started an investigation into the fire, and a spokesman said it is too soon to determine if the ship will ever be used again.