The Costa Allegra was seven days into a month long cruise of the Indian Ocean when the fire started.

The onboard sprinkler system and the ship’s firefighting team were able to contain the blaze before it spread, but damage caused left the engine without power and the ship operating on back-up power.

According to officials at Costa’s head office, the ship was 260 miles from the Seychelles when the fire struck.

A plane, two tug boats and another ship are on the way to the stricken vessel, however it is as yet unclear whether the 20-year-old ship will have to be evacuated, or engineers will be able to solve the problem.

This incident comes just six week’s after more than 30 people lost their lives aboard the Costa Concordia which capsized off of the Italian island of Giglio.

A statement from Costa Cruise said: “Inspections on the state of the engine room are on-going, in order to restart the necessary equipment to reactivate the functionality of the ship.

“According to the procedures, the relevant authorities were alerted, including the Maritime Rescue Control Centre in Rome, which are following the situation ready to provide the necessary support. Costa Allegra sent out the ‘distress’ signal.

“Costa Cruises and the relevant authorities are active to provide the ship with the necessary support according to the development of the situation.”

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