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Italian cruise liner on fire off Seychelles, no casualties reported

(Xinhua)

08:33, February 28, 2012

ROME, Feb 27 (Xinhua) -- An Italian cruise ship went 260 miles adrift off the Seychelles following a fire, but all passengers are safe, the ANSA news agency reported on Monday.

The ship is adrift but flames have been extinguished, and no injuries or casualties were reported among the 636 passengers and 413 crew members, the ship operator Costa Cruises said in a statement.

The fire reportedly developed in the engine room of the 187-meter-long Costa Allegra, and firefighters intervened to prevent it from spreading to other parts of the ship.

There is now a blackout in the vessel, which is currently without propulsion and is waiting to be towed, according to sources quoted by ANSA.

The operations center of the Coast Guard in Rome have sent three commercial and two fishing boats for rescue while the Seychelles authorities have sent two tugs, a ship and a plane.

"There are no safety concerns for the ship Costa Allegra off the Seychelles," the Italian consul at the islands in the Indian Ocean, Claudio Izzi, was quoted by ANSA as saying.

"The fire was extinguished, the ship had departed from Mauritius en route to the Seychelles where it should arrive tomorrow morning at 8:00," he added.

In January, another cruise liner of the same company, the Costa Concordia, wrecked off Italy's western coast causing at least 25 deaths.

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