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Nearly 900 Passengers Evacuated After Staten Island Ferry Fire

5 injuries reported, 3 requiring hospitalization
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 23, 2022 12:41 AM CST
Nearly 900 Passengers Evacuated After Staten Island Ferry Fire
A Staten Island Ferry boat at the Whitehall Terminal, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, in the Staten Island borough of New York.   (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Emergency personnel evacuated nearly 900 passengers from a Staten Island Ferry vessel Thursday evening following a fire in the ship's engine room, the AP reports. The New York City Fire Department said units responded to a report of a fire in the mechanical room of a ship in upper New York Bay shortly after 5pm, WNBC-TV reported. Five people were reported injured, three of them requiring hospital treatment, WNBC-TV said. The US Coast Guard evacuated the passengers, including several wearing life jackets, to the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island. The ferry's 16 crew members were also taken off the boat. The evacuation took less than an hour, WNBC-TV reported.

The NYC Department of Transportation said the vessel, the Sandy Ground, was temporarily anchored near Bayonne, New Jersey, as passengers were transferred. A spokesperson for NY Waterway said one of its ferries assisted with the evacuation. The fire department said the fire was contained to the ship’s engine room and stack. The ferry is one of three $85 million vessels that are newly in service this year, ABC 7 reports. "This is the way the system's supposed to happen," FDNY's deputy chief says. "When there's an engine room fire, you notify the [Coast Guard] and then you seal it and get the people out of the way and so everyone acted the way they were supposed to."

(More ferry stories.)

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