39 people uninjured in Utrecht passenger ship fire

The Demkabrug and Werkspoorbrug, two bridges in Utrecht that cross the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal. 2018
The Demkabrug and Werkspoorbrug, two bridges in Utrecht that cross the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal. 2018cakifotoDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

A fire on a passenger ship in the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal had rescue workers scrambling to quickly evacuate the vessel on Monday. The flames broke out in the generator room while the ship was near Peltlaan in Utrecht, and over three dozen people made it to safety.

"The fire in the passenger ship has spread to other rooms via the insulation," the Utrecht emergency services office said in a statement. "The fire brigade is on site with several units, and will use the 'cobra cutter' to fight the fire," the message continued, referencing a specialized piece of equipment that pumps a narrow stream of water mixed with iron particulate at high pressure strong enough to cut holes in hard surfaces so flames may be extinguished without completely destroying the ship.

Emergency services first received the call at about 7:16 a.m., with the alarm elevated to a report of a mid-sized fire six minutes later. All passengers were safely taken off the ship, the safety authority said.

In total, 29 German tourists disembarked the ship safely, according to RTV Utrecht. Ten more crew members were also able to make it to safety. The ship was moored in the Knaleneiland neighborhood close to Rooseveltlaan.

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