Manilma: A luxury cruise liner with about 600 passengers mostly American and European tourists was left wandering in Philippine waters on Saturday after an engine room caught fire that injured five crew members, the coast guard of the ship said.
The fire which began in an engine room late on Friday was doused in time but left the Azamara Quest without propulsion in the middle of the Sulu Sea, he said.
As a precaution, the captain had initially asked all passengers to prepare to leave the ship, but an evacuation was not necessary in the end, Azamara Club Cruises said on its web site. "There were no injuries of guests reported and the atmosphere aboard is calm," it added.
The crew later restored power to one of the ship's engines, allowing the vessel to resume air conditioning, running water, plumbing and refrigeration, it added. Both the liner and the Philippine Coast Guard said the fire caused smoke-related injuries to five crew members who were treated on board.
"However, one crew member is more seriously injured and requires additional and urgent medical attention that can only be provided in a hospital," the cruise liner statement said. Philippine Department of Transportation spokesman Nicasio Conti said there were about 600 mostly American and European passengers on board.
Coast guard Ensign June Greanata said on telephone from Puerto Princesa, the nearest Philippine port, that a Philippine Navy vessel had been sent to help the stricken vessel. A Philippine Navy doctor on board will assess whether the seriously injured crew member will require an airlift to hospital, she added.
The nationalities of the injured crew members were not disclosed, although the Philippine transportation department said it was aware about 120 of them are Filipinos.