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Rhodes: Tourist boat with 82 passengers on fire; two injured

A day touristic boat with 82 people on board caught fire in Stegna, off Rhodes on Thursday and was completely destroyed. Many passengers jumped into the sea to escape the flames and the thick smoke and swam to the nearest beach, while others were collected by boats that rushed to the spot.

A 9-year-old girl and a 50-year-old woman, both with minor burn injuries were transported to the hospital. According to doctors, their health condition is not a cause of any concern.

A large mobilization was underway with ambulances and other boats to have been ordered to assist and rescue passengers.

Initial reports indicate that there was no serious safety issue for the 82 passengers as most of them abandoned the boat by jumping into the sea as the boat was very close to the shore.

Ambulance rescuers rushed to the area to provide  first aid to the passengers who safely disembarked from the boat.

By-pass vessels have been ordered to the scene in case assistance was needed.

As of 5:40 Thursday afternoon, 4 smaller boats remained in the area at a safe distance, while an alert has been signaled at the Central Port Authority of Rhodes.

Orders were given to take measures to deal with possible marine pollution.

Earlier, a helicopter flew over the burning boat in order to assess the extent of the problem.

Passengers/tourists were transported with busses to their hotels as of 7:20 p.m. They are in good health, local media reported.

The fire on the vessel has been fully controlled, but nevertheless it has been completely destroyed.

The Port Authority of Rhodes investigates the reasons for the fire.

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