Newspapers in Germany are reporting that a fire broke put on a river cruise ship with 134 people on board this morning. The ship is the Dutch-owned Regina Rheni. The ship was mostly filled with British tourists.
The fire quickly spread and forced the passengers to the top deck. The newspaper accounts indicate that the 102 passengers and 32 crew members were in "grave danger." There are inconsistent reports of injury. Around a dozen passengers suffered smoke inhalation and four were hospitalized. The cause of the fire is still unclear.
The passengers were mostly elderly.
It took three hours to extinguish the fire.
A month ago, a fire erupted aboard another river cruise ship, the MS Gerard Schmitter, while it was sailing from Amsterdam to Strasborg, requiring a similar evacuation.
Photo credit: Welt Online
Please note that the photograph above is not of the river cruise ship (the Regina Rheni) which caught fire. Rather it is a photo of another river cruise ship, Tauck’s MS Swiss Sapphire, which was in the vicinity of the Regina Rheni and came to its aid. The Regina Rheni’s passengers were evacuated to the Tauk vessel, where the crew provided them with food, blankets and warm drinks. The MS Swiss Sapphire then transported the passengers to Dusseldorf, where they disembarked and were met by authorities who provided additional aid.
The MS Swiss Sapphire continued on the rest of its journey, and is now back on its regular schedule.