AUGUST 17, 2016 — The U.S. Coast Guard has rescued hundreds of people aboard a cruise ferry that caught fire off Puerto Rico
The Coast Guard and local police took most of the 512 passengers and crew from the 1989-built RoPax Caribbean Fantasy , which was burning about two miles off of San Juan, Puerto Rico's capital
Some 50 people remained on the 561-foot-long boat and awaited rescue by about 10:30 a.m., the Coast Guard is reported by local media as saying. Rescued passengers were being transported to San Juan. The vessel was en route to the Dominican Republic.
No deaths or injuries were immediately reported.
The fire, which was reported at about 7:40 a.m, "began in the engine room of the ship and is spreading to other compartments on board," the Coast Guard said.
Videos on social media showed smoke billowing from several parts of the large white ferry as an inflatable orange rescue slide was activated.
Tweets from @USCGSoutheast reported all passengers and 25 crew safely disembarked and that the vessel had reportedly run aground 800 yards off Punta Salina.
The Panamanian flag vessel is operated by American Cruise Ferries, though the Equasis data base shows it as being owned and managed by Mexico's Baja Ferries SA de CV.
It operates between San Juan to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.