LANGKAWI (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Fifty-two passengers on a ferry from Langkawi island heading towards Perlis state were rescued after the vessel caught fire on Monday (Feb 25).
The ferry caught fire minutes after it departed from the Kuah Terminal in Langkawi.
The blaze engulfing the Dragon Star ferry occurred three kilometres off Kuah, the main town on the holiday island in northern Malaysia.
It is understood that all passengers escaped unscathed. They were rescued by nearby vessels.
The Kedah Fire and Rescue Department's operation centre said it was told of the ferry fire at 2.48pm and a rescue team was despatched to the scene at 2.56pm.
A passenger first spotted the blaze and raised the alarm, the fire department said.
As the blaze spread, many passengers plunged into the sea to escape.
The authorities despatched rescue boats to the scene, aided by others from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and nearby vessels, to contain the fire.
Firemen boarded the ferry to put out the fire and to ensure no passenger was trapped.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known.