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Fire-damaged cruise ship reaches Malaysia

Passengers on the cruise ship which drifted for 24 hours after a fire in an engine room have praised the captain and crew.

The Azamara Quest, with 98 Britons on board, drifted off the southern Philippines on Friday after a fire which injured five crew members.

But it restored propulsion and reached Malaysia late last night, with passengers praising the crew for maintaining order and bringing them safely ashore.

The fire on the Azamara Quest had been extinguished immediately, but five crew members suffered smoke inhalation, including one who was seriously injured and needed hospital care, the ship's operator has said.

The ship, which had left Hong Kong a week ago, was on a 17 day voyage due to end in Singapore on April 12.

It was the latest in a series of accidents hitting the cruise industry since January, when the Costa Concordia capsized off the coast of Italy, killing 32 people.

The 11-deck vessel, which features a casino, spa and shopping boutiques, was carrying 590 passengers and 411 crew members.

Azamara Club Cruises, part of Royal Caribbean Cruises, said the rest of the cruise would be cancelled. It said it would fully refund the passengers and provide each guest with a future cruise certificate for the amount paid for the aborted voyage.

With permission from Travelmole
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