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Switzerland’s oldest steamship catches fire

The more than 100-year-old steamship Uri will be out of commission for a while Keystone

Fire broke out in the engine room of Switzerland’s oldest steamship, the Uri, while it was travelling on Lake Lucerne on Saturday. The 89 passengers aboard were evacuated to safety at Hergiswil in canton Nidwalden.

The electrical fire in an auxiliary engine broke out shortly after noon, producing strong smoke on the ship. The personnel were unable to put out the fire with fire extinguishers, but the captain was able to pilot the boat to Hergiswil. Around 150 firemen were called to battle the blaze, which was brought under control shortly after 2pm.

The cause of the fire is unknown. The Uri, a paddle steamer, began service in 1901 and was completely renovated in the 1990s. It will be towed to Lucerne for examination by the Swiss Accident Investigation Board.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR