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More than 500 evacuated in ferry fire off Puerto Rico coast

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — More than 500 passengers were safely rescued Wednesday from a burning ferry off Puerto Rico’s northern coast.

The US Coast Guard responding to a ferry boat fire near San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Puerto Rico Police via CNN)

The US Coast Guard responding to a ferry boat fire near San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Puerto Rico Police via CNN)

The emergency evacuation was prompted after a fire began in the ship’s engine room and spread to other compartments on board, according to the US Coast Guard.

The 561-foot Caribbean Fantasy is a passenger ship that travels between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Several Little League baseball teams were on the ship.

No major injuries were reported, but 10 passengers were transported to hospitals in San Juan after suffering minor injuries and heat exhaustion, Puerto Rico Fire Department Chief Angel Crespo told CNN.

During rescue operations, the ship ran aground 800 yards off Punta Salinas, and the hull of the ship was “severely compromised,” Crespo said. It didn’t appear to be leaking fuel, but the Coast Guard is monitoring the situation.