London: A fire has broken out on a ferry in the North Sea, causing seven people to be airlifted to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation, British coastguard officials said.
Two Royal Air Force (RAF) search and rescue helicopters and two lifeboats were scrambled after the blaze was detected yesterday in the accommodation block as the ferry sailed off the coast of Yorkshire in northern England.
Some 946 passengers and 127 crew were onboard the MS King Seaways, a DFDS ferry travelling from Newcastle to Amsterdam, according to a statement issued by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
"Six crew members and a passenger have been airlifted to hospital after a fire on board a ferry approximately 30 miles (48 kilometres) north east of Flamborough Head," it said.
Crew members raised the alarm shortly after 10:00pm (2200 GMT). "They reported that they had a fire in one of the passenger accommodation blocks but it had been brought under control and was now out," the MCA said.
Spokeswoman Jo Rawlings told the BBC that the ferry would now return to Newcastle where it set off earlier Saturday.