River cruise ship evacuated following explosion, fire in Amsterdam
Dutch officials have confirmed that a river cruise ship suffered an onboard explosion and a subsequent fire while at berth in the city of Amsterdam on Monday, July 25.
The incident on the 135-metre-long Viking Gymir was first reported at around 18:30 local time on Monday when firefighting and rescue units in Amsterdam were called upon to render assistance to the passengers and crew of the stricken ship.
Reports said the explosion and the fire occurred in the engine room as the vessel was preparing to depart with over 200 embarked passengers.
Immediately following the blast, the crew directed the passengers to assemble in the lounge. All passengers were later safely evacuated without injury, though nine crewmembers suffered smoke inhalation and were treated by responding medical teams.
Officials are investigating whether the explosion was caused by a malfunction in the ship’s batteries.
Viking Gymir was introduced into service on the Rhine River by Basel-based Viking River Cruises earlier this year. It is one of two hybrid diesel-electric river cruise ships built for Viking by German shipyard Neptun Werft in 2021.