68 people on board ferry from S’pore to Batam safe after fire breaks out
All 68 people on board a Singapore-registered ferry bound for Batam are safe, after a fire broke out in the vessel’s engine room on Friday afternoon.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said in a statement on Friday that it was alerted to the fire at 12.30pm, when the ferry – Queen Star 2 – was off Kusu Island.
The authority, along with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and Police Coast Guard, deployed its own boats to render assistance, with the MPA also activating a tug boat to tow the ferry.
When the SCDF arrived at the vessel’s location, the fire had already been put out by its six crew members. The firefighters who boarded ensured that the fire had been completely put out.
While the crew had remained on board, the 62 passengers, consisting of Singaporeans, Malaysians and Indonesians, as well as people of other nationalities, had already been transferred to another vessel – the Merbau Era – which was on its way to Harbourfront Ferry Terminal.
They were later taken to Batam on the Merbau Era and have since disembarked safely, MPA said, adding that there were no reports of injuries or pollution. It did not specify the number of Singaporeans on board.
To accommodate the affected passengers, MPA deployed officers to Harbourfront Ferry Terminal in case anyone required assistance.
It also issued navigational broadcasts to ships, advising them to stay clear of the incident site, with the authority saying that it would release more details when they were available.
According to ship-tracking website MarineTraffic, Queen Star 2 was built in 2012 and is owned by Sinindo Shipping.