Taiwan whale watching ship catches fire, all 46 passengers safe

46 passengers aboard whale watching ship off Hualien coast evacuate after fire suddenly erupts

Hualien whale watching tour ends suddenly.

Hualien whale watching tour ends suddenly. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Hualien watching watching vessel, "Hua Tung No.2" (花東2號), suddenly caught fire the afternoon of Aug. 13.

A nearby whale watching ship received the burning ship's distress signal and immediately headed to the scene to help rescue passengers. All aboard, 44 tourists and 2 crew members, safely fled the smoking ship.

(CNA image)

The flames broke out at 2:06 p.m. and by 2:15 p.m two coast guard ships were on scene, reported CNA. All passengers were safely evacuated onto another boat, "Hua Tung No1" (花東1號) by 2:25 p.m.

No one was injured in the accident. Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.

(CNA image)