egyptian boat red sea 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Passengers were forced to escape on lifeboats when a fire broke out on a ferry carrying more than 1,200 passengers from the Jordanian Red Sea port of Aqaba to Egypt on Thursday, a maritime official said.
The official from Egypt's Red Sea ports authority said there were no immediate reports of casualties and the rescue operation was continuing.
He said there was extensive damage to the ferry.
Egyptian state television said Egyptian naval launches and military
aircraft were involved in the rescue effort. It said more than 800
people had already been transferred to the Egyptian port of Nuweiba.
offered naval assistance and IDF Chief of General-Staff Benny Gantz
ordered the navy to prepare itself to provide aid but the Egyptians
declined the assistance, saying it was not necessary.
Transport Minister Ali Zain el-Abdin told state television he was
awaiting confirmation that the remaining 400 or so passengers had been
The fire erupted on the Pella, owned by Arab
Bridge Maritime Company (AB Maritime), about 15 nautical miles from
Aqaba, the official said, adding that another vessel was sent from Aqaba
to help. The ferry was also carrying five trucks.
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The official said the passengers were mainly Egyptian expatriate workers returning home from neighboring states.
Maritime, founded in November 1985, is a joint venture between the
governments of Jordan, Egypt and Iraq. It has paid-up capital of $66
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