Emergency services assisting passengers in Alcudia port last night. | Julio Bastida

An Algerie Ferries ship with 470 passengers and 137 crew on board had to dock in Alcudia last night after a fire broke out in the cargo hold.

The ferry was heading for Algiers from Marseille. The fire was declared at twenty minutes past midnight, and the ship's captain was advised that Alcudia was the nearest port. When it docked, fire crews set about controlling the fire. Some twenty vehicles were damaged and 26 people needed medical treatment for smoke inhalation. Three were taken to either Inca or Manacor Hospital.

Damage to the ferry itself includes the loss of electricity supply to some cabins and problems with hydraulics. Company technicians are assessing the damage.

The passengers, mainly Algerian or French, were looked after by the Cruz Roja (Red Cross) and Civil Protection. Two ferries have arrived in Alcudia, and passengers are resuming their journey on these. The damaged ferry will remain in Alcudia for the time being before a decision is taken as to whether it should go to Algiers or Marseille.