A Nile cruise ship went up in flames near the Upper Egyptian city of Aswan on Wednesday. There were no casualties reported among the 84 guests and 79 crew on board, Al-Ahram’s Arabic news website reported.
The MS Nile Festival, a luxury floating hotel run by a UK based company, was stationed at Edfu near Aswan when a short-circuit in the ship's kitchens sparked the fire.
The tourists were visiting the temple of the ancient Egyptian site of Edfu when the fire occurred, and were relocated to nearby cruise ships, according to Al-Ahram, which also reported that there were no injuries or casualties among the 79 crew members.
Firefighters managed to save the belongings of the guests before the fire reached their rooms, Aswan governor Mustafa El-Sayed was quoted as saying by Ahram Arabic.
Despite conflicting reports regarding the scope of the fire, its extensiveness spurred El-Sayed to demand that a commission of experts is assigned by prosecutors to investigate the reasons behind the incident.
Last November, a similar fire occurred aboard an Egyptian cruise ship between Luxor and Esna in Upper Egypt, forcing the evacuation of 77 tourists. There were no injuries reported.
In 2007, five Egyptians were killed and two injured in an overnight fire on a cruise ship close to Luxor. Forty-three French tourists were safely evacuated from the ship.
Tourism, a vital source of revenue in Upper Egypt due to its wealth of ancient Egyptian archeological sites, has been badly hit in the past months.
A hot air balloon crash which killed 19 tourists in Luxor on 26 February was followed by a nearly two month-long suspension of all such flights over the Upper Egyptian city, a popular tourist destination.