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OSLO, September 15 (Itar-Tass) — A strong fire broke out on board the Nordlys ferry owned by the Norwegian Hurtigruten company. The news about the fire on board was broken to Norwegian police at around 9.20 a. m. when the ferry was not far from Olesunn in the west of Norway.
At least two were said to have suffered in the incident, but the number of the victims was expected to grow. There were 207 passengers and fifty-five crew members on board when the fire broke out. The latest reports said that 230 people had been evacuated from the ferry by life rafts. A helicopter carrying a group of experts had left for the emergency area to find out the causes of the fire. Preliminary reports said the fire began in the engine room, according to local media.
The ferry has been towed to the Olessun city port. Part of the city centre has been cordoned off fearing smoke spread. Fire fighting efforts continue.
The Nordlys was built in Germany in 1996. The ferry is 123 meters long; it can develop a speed of 28 kilometers per hour. The name of the ferry - Nordlys, is translated as the Northern Lights; hence the decoration of the ferry which reminds one of the most arresting natural phenomenon. There is a picture gallery on board the ferry with pictures by Inger Sitter and Ornulf Opdahl.
The Khurtigruten transport service numbers eleven ferries now.