900 Evacuated From Staten Island Ferry After Fire

No injuries were reported from engine room incident
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 23, 2022 2:31 PM CST
900 Evacuated From Staten Island Ferry After Fire
File photo of people boarding the Staten Island Ferry.   (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson, File)

Nearly 900 passengers and crew members were evacuated from a ferry bound for Staten Island from Manhattan after the vessel's engine room caught fire and billowed smoke over the upper New York Bay, authorities said Friday. Five people were injured in Thursday's blaze, with three going to the hospital with unspecified minor injuries, the New York Fire Department said at a news conference, per the AP. Rescue units responded shortly after 5pm to get the passengers to safety, with some wearing life preservers as they were transferred to other vessels.

The US Coast Guard, which also took part in the rescue, evacuated the passengers to the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island. The ferry’s crew members were also taken off the boat. There were approximately 868 people on the vessel, the Sandy Ground, with an additional 16 crew members, Deputy Assistant Fire Chief Frank Leeb told a news conference. The department will wait at least 24 hours and monitor temperatures before entering the engine room to determine whether the fire is completely extinguished, Leeb said. The blaze was contained to the ship’s engine room and stack, the fire department said. Its cause remains under investigation.

(More Staten Island stories.)

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