MOSCOW, November 3 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian Tourism Agency is still unaware whether Russian tourists are staying onboard a ferryboat burning off Jordan, chief press officer of the Russian Tourism Agency Oleg Moseyev told Itar-Tass on Thursday.
“We are checking all the information and have no information so far about Russians staying onboard the ferryboat,” he said. Meanwhile, Moseyev noted that the agency will inform about the development of the situation. For his part, executive director of the Association of Russian Tourist Operators Maya Lomidze told Itar-Tass that “according to tourist operators, Russian tourists were not staying onboard the ferryboat.” “We have no information from the consulate, but we questioned leading tourist operators, who are working for this tourist destination, and according to them, Russians were not staying onboard the ferryboat, because no tours to Jordan were made on Thursdays,” Lomidze said, adding that “certainly local residents were staying onboard the ferryboat.”
The ferryboat Pella-1 flying the flag of Jordan was en route to the Egyptian port of Nuweiba on the Sinai Peninsula. The ferryboat caught fire at 8.45 a.m. local time (10.45 Moscow time) on Thursday 15 nautical miles away from the Jordanian port of Aqaba. The ferryboat was carrying 1,230 passengers, mainly Egyptians working in Jordan on the way home to celebrate the Muslim sacrifice feast Eid al-Adha with their relatives starting from Sunday. All passengers were saved, no one of them was injured. The rescuers continue the evacuation of 25 crewmembers.