Passengers evacuated after fire aboard Canadian ferry

(WOOD ISLANDS, Prince Edward Island) — The ferry Holiday Island will likely remain moored for the rest of the season due to the fire that began in the ship’s engine room Friday morning, CBC News reported.

The ship was evacuated at about 1115 while en route to Wood Islands from Caribou, Nova Scotia. The crew launched the lifeboats and deployed evacuation slides from the top deck for the estimated 200 passengers on board. No injuries were reported.

On Saturday, operator Northumberland Ferries said it believed the fire was contained in the engine room and the ship’s funnels. Tugboats towed the ship into a harbor berth in Wood Islands on Sunday morning.

Canadian Coast Guard photo

Don Cormier, vice president of Northumberland Ferries, said Sunday that the engine room hasn’t been inspected for damage because the ship is being assessed for stability. Officials with Transport Canada said they expected the ferry to be unavailable for the rest of the summer.

On Sunday afternoon, passenger vehicles could be seen rolling off of the ferry. Cormier said that there appeared to be “no obvious damage” to the 83 vehicles on board.

A Canadian Coast Guard environmental response team was surveying the area for potential fuel and oil leaks. Containment boom was placed around the ship, but no pollution had been reported.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating the fire.

By Rich Miller