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Baltic ferry blaze provokes fuel leak fears

Danish and German experts battle to prevent sinking of Lithuanian-flagged ferry after evacuation yesterday.

Image: AP Photo/DGzRS, Handout

GERMAN AND DANISH authorities are battling to stop a ferry in the Baltic Sea from capsizing and leaking fuel after explosions on board caused a fire to break out on board.

Three people were injured when the blaze broke out yesterday and all 249 passengers on the Lithuanian car ferry were evacuated.

German officials have ruled out the possibility of a terrorist attack, and say that the most possible cause of the fire was an explosion on a truck on board.

The ferry is in Danish waters, just three kilometres the island of Langeland. Passengers on board the ferry included a school tour from Latvia, 20 Germans as well as people from Lithuania, Argentina, Russia and Denmark.

The three injured passengers were airlifted by the Danish navy to hospital and most of the remaining passengers were brought by rescue boat to the northern German city of Kiel.

Firefighters’ efforts to put out the inferno on board have been complicated because, as a spokesperson for the Danish navy’s operational command says, if the ferry took on more water it could sink.

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