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Power restored to cruise ship hit by engine fire off Indonesia

By the CNN Wire Staff
March 31, 2012 -- Updated 1545 GMT (2345 HKT)
The Azamara Quest, seen in this 2008 photo, was disabled by an engine fire.
The Azamara Quest, seen in this 2008 photo, was disabled by an engine fire.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Propulsion power is restored and the Azamara Quest is heading for Malaysia
  • The Azamara Quest was left adrift 200 miles off Indonesia after an engine fire
  • All the passengers on board are safe but 5 crew are injured, Azamara Club Cruises says
  • The fire broke out after the ship carrying 1,000 people set sail from Manila, in the Philippines

(CNN) -- Engineers have restored propulsion power to a cruise ship carrying about 1,000 people after it was left adrift off Indonesia by an engine fire, cruise company Azamara Club Cruises said.

The ship is now sailing directly to Sandakan, in Malaysia, at a speed of between three and six knots and is expected to arrive within 24 to 48 hours, the company said.

The Philippines Navy said it had sent a patrol boat which is accompanying the cruise ship.

All of the nearly 600 passengers on board the Azamara Quest are safe but five crew members suffered smoke inhalation during the fire, the company said in an online statement.

One crew member who was more seriously injured is doing better but will be taken to a hospital as soon as the ship reaches shore, it said.

"The damage caused by the fire will require us to cancel the rest of Azamara Quest's voyage once the ship arrives in Sandakan," it said.

As of Saturday morning local time, the ship was located 200 miles off the port city of Balikpapan, on the Indonesian island of Borneo, in calm seas, the company said.

The fire broke out at about 8:20 p.m. local time in one of the ship's engine rooms, where it was contained and quickly extinguished, the company said.

Power was restored to one of the engines late Friday, allowing the ship to restart its air conditioning, running water, plumbing and refrigeration, Azamara Club Cruises said.

The fire broke out after the Azamara Quest had set sail from Manila, in the Philippines, Officer Francis Wong, chief of communications for the Philippines Navy, told CNN.

The ship's captain reported the fire to the Philippine naval authorities, who sent a Cessna aircraft and two patrol gun boats to the cruise ship in response, he said.

As of noon Friday Philippine time the fire was under control, he said.

"When we left the ship was safe and close to Palawan," he said, referring to an island province in the Philippines.

The Azamara Quest was on a 17-night sailing voyage that departed Hong Kong, China, on March 26, and was due to include port calls in the Philippines, Borneo and Indonesia before concluding in Singapore on April 12.

Anyone booked on the Azamara Quest for a cruise starting April 12 is advised by Azamara Club Cruises to check the company's website on Monday for an update.

Azamara Club Cruises, which operates two cruise liners, is part of the giant Royal Caribbean Cruises group.

CNN's Laura Smith-Spark, Kim Chakanetsa and Aliza Kassim contributed to this report.

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