More than 500 abandon ship after fire breaks out on Caribbean Fantasy

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — More than 500 passengers were being evacuated on Wednesday from a cruise ship that caught fire about a mile off Puerto Rico’s north coast.

The fire was still burning aboard the Caribbean Fantasy as the U.S. Coast Guard prepared a mass-rescue craft to bring passengers safely to the San Juan harbor.

No injuries have been reported and no one is missing, Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad said in a phone interview.

The fire erupted in the engine room and is currently spreading to the rest of the ship, Miami-based Coast Guard spokeswoman Marilyn Fajardo said by phone.

She said passengers are sliding down into rescue rafts, with 50 people still on board as of late Wednesday morning.

The ships run several times weekly between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and was arriving in San Juan when the fire broke out, Castrodad said. It is unclear what caused the fire.

According to its website, the Caribbean fantasy travels between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, a journey that lasts between 8 and 12 hours.

The ship has seven levels, three of which are open to the public. There are 140 private cabins and 450 seats on board. There’s also a casino, piano bar, swimming pool, nightclub, and a collection of duty free shops to keep guests entertained.

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