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Drift Italian ship to be towed Wednesday night to Seychelles' Port Victoria


08:24, March 01, 2012

VICTORIA, 29 (Xinhua) -- The Italian cruise liner Costa Allegra, drifting off the Seychelles after a fire cut off its power, is expected to be towed at Port Victoria, the port authority of the Indian Ocean island country said Wednesday.

The vessel is being towed to Port Victoria after Monday's incident by the French tuna Trevignon, a port official declined be identified told Xinhua.

"It is not known yet if there are Chinese or not on board the Costa Allegra, but most of the 611 passengers were French citizens, followed by Italians, but there are also other nationalities as Americans and Mauritians," he said.

The ship remained motionless near the Alphonse Island, one of the 115 islands of the Seychelles, at about 260 miles from Mahe, the main island of the archipelago. The ship had a blackout after a fire broke out in the generator room. A 12-member team, including Costa Cruise vice-president, its executive members and four engineers, are in Seychelles since Monday to participate in rescue operations led by the Seychelles authorities.

Because of the blackout of the liner, a warship delivered a generator to Costa Allegra to make operate its ventilation system, while helicopters of the Seychellois society, ZilAir, supply the ship with food.

An Indian Navy Aircraft based in Mahe and a frigate of the Seychelles coast guard, Andromache, supporting the team of the armed security on board of Costa Allegra will intervene in case of attack by Somali pirates in this part of the Indian Ocean.

Once the ship arrives at Port Victoria, passengers and crew members will be evacuated to their home country in three planes chartered for this purpose,the official told Xinhua.


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