MADRID – A ferry heading from the Mediterranean island city of Palma de Mallorca to the southern coastal city of Valencia caught fire at sea Tuesday, forcing 152 passengers to abandon the ship in lifeboats and injuring four crew members, Spanish officials said.
Huge plumes of smoke billowed from the vessel after the fire broke out in the ferry's car garage about an hour into the journey when the ship was about 20 miles from Palma de Mallorca, Spain's Development Ministry and the ship's owner said in statements.
All of the passengers made it safely into lifeboats and were picked up by another ferry, according to the ministry and port authorities for Spain's Balearic Islands.
One of the ferry's crew members suffered serious injuries and three others were treated and released for unspecified injuries, port authorities and the boat's owner said. They were taken to a hospital in a helicopter.
The ferry carrying the passengers was expected to arrive back in Palma de Mallorca Tuesday night.
The burning ferry was expected to sink and the cause of the fire was under investigation.