(NEW YORK) — Nearly 900 passengers and crewmembers were evacuated from a ferry bound for Staten Island from Manhattan on Thursday after a fire in the vessel’s engine room, ABC News reported.
Five people were injured in the fire aboard Sandy Ground, with three going to the hospital with unspecified minor injuries, the New York Fire Department said at a news conference.
Rescue units responded shortly after 5 p.m. to get the passengers to safety, with some wearing life preservers as they were transferred to other vessels.
The ferry was temporarily anchored near Bayonne, N.J., as passengers were transferred, the NYC Department of Transportation said. A spokesperson for NY Waterway said one of its ferries assisted with the evacuation.
The U.S. Coast Guard, which also took part in the rescue, evacuated the passengers to the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island. The ferry’s crewmembers were also taken off the boat.
There were approximately 868 people on Sandy Ground, with an additional 16 crewmembers, Deputy Assistant Fire Chief Frank Leeb stated at a news conference.
The department will wait at least 24 hours and monitor temperatures before entering the engine room to determine whether the fire is completely extinguished, Leeb said. The fire was contained to the ship’s engine room and stack.
Leeb credited the ship’s crew with quickly notifying the Coast Guard. “They were also very quick to make sure that they sealed the engine room, evacuated the area” and injected CO2 into the room to remove the oxygen, Leeb said.
Officials said the cause of the fire remained under investigation.