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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Turkish Ferry Catches Fire Off Sochi Coast

A Turkish ferry carrying cars and fruit caught fire Friday as it approached port in the Black Sea resort Sochi, emergency officials said.

The 21 crew members and 10 passengers, all Turkish citizens, were safely evacuated, regional emergency situations duty officer Sergei Petrov said.

The ferry, which was sailing from the Turkish port of Trabzon under a Sierra Leone flag, caught fire about one kilometer from the shore Friday morning, Petrov said. It was carrying six or seven sport utility vehicles for sale and containers of fruit and marble.

Firefighters on seven vessels were sent to extinguish the blaze, Petrov said.

The burning ferry had been blocking access to the port and was listing. The fire and rescue units towed the ferry 15 kilometers out to sea, where it was still spewing smoke on Sunday, although the fire had been extinguished, Sochi emergency officials told Interfax.

The cause of the fire was not yet known, Petrov said.

Extensive development is planned for Sochi, a popular vacation spot, which last month won the right to hold the 2014 Winter Games. (AP, MT)