Hundreds abandon burning ship off Puerto Rico

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Smokes spills from the the cruise ship Caribbean Fantasy off the coast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. More than 500 passengers were evacuated after a small fire erupted in the engine room. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

A ship that caught fire about a mile off Puerto Rico's north coast was evacuated Wednesday. More than 500 passengers and crew abandoned the burning Caribbean Fantasy, a combination cruise and ferry vessel, as the U.S. Coast Guard prepared a mass-rescue craft to bring passengers safely to the San Juan harbor.

No injuries have been reported and no one is missing, Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad said in a phone interview.

The fire erupted in the engine room and spread to the rest of the ship, Miami-based Coast Guard spokeswoman Marilyn Fajardo said by phone. She said passengers are sliding down into rescue rafts.

The ships run several times weekly between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and was arriving in San Juan when the fire broke out, Castrodad said. It is unclear what caused the fire.

With the Associated Press