On Friday, police said that almost 900 passengers and crew members had to be evacuated on a ferry traveling from Manhattan to Staten Island after an engine room fire sent smoke billowing over the upper New York Bay.
At a press conference on Thursday, the New York Fire Department reported five injuries, three of which required medical attention for minor injuries. Around 5 o’clock, rescue crews arrived to transfer the passengers to safer vessels; some wore life vests during the ordeal.
To facilitate passenger transfers, the NYC Department of Transportation said that the Sandy Ground has temporarily anchored near Bayonne, New Jersey. NY Waterway has confirmed that one of its ferries was involved in the rescue operation.
The crew of the vessel was also evacuated
Passengers have been transported to Staten Island’s St. George Ferry Terminal thanks to the efforts of the United States Coast Guard. At a press conference, Deputy Assistant Fire Chief Frank Leeb said that the Sandy Ground had 868 passengers and 16 crew members.
Leeb said the fire department would wait at least 24 hours and check the engine room’s temperature to see if the fire had been entirely extinguished. According to the fire service, the blaze was isolated to the ship’s stack and engine room.
Leeb said the crew’s fast action in alerting the Coast Guard was noteworthy. Leeb added that the team “moved swiftly to shut the engine room, evacuate the area,” and pump carbon dioxide (CO2) into the space to deplete the oxygen supply.
There was no immediate word on what caused the fire, according to officials.