CAIRO - 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.