Images of the burning ferry provided by evacuated passengers to the news agencies.


157 passengers were evacuated from a ferry some 35 miles off Majorca early yesterday afternoon after it caught fire en route to Valencia.Spanish emergency services safely evacuated the 157 people from the  burning ferry while many had taken to the life boats after the fire had apparently got out of control.
The  Sorrento ferry, belonging to the Italian company Atlantica di Navigazione although operated by Trasmediterranea-Acciona, sent out distress signals, the Ministry of Public Works said in a statement.
 Pictures taken by some of the evacuated passengers  showed images  of the ferry belching out great clouds of black smoke.
Although the captain did not initially want to evacuate the ferry, passengers and crew eventually left the burning vessel in lifeboats, the ministry said.
The port authority initially said 170 passengers were rescued, but it was later reported that the figure was 157 and three people, all crew members apparently,  had been airlifted to Son Espases Hospital after having been over come by the thick smoke.
Acciona could not immediately comment and   Atlantica di Navigazione could not be immediately reached for comment.
But, while the evacuated passengers docked in Palma later last night, there were mounting concerns that the burnt-out ferry could sink in the position where the rescue was carried out.


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