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Crew quell Greek island ferry blaze

Crew members have put out a fire on a Greek ferry carrying 248 passengers and crew in the eastern Aegean. Five people had to be evacuated and treated for respiratory problems.

The Merchant Marine Ministry said the Nissos Mykonos was sitting just off the island of Samos. Its 174 passengers were being transferred to another ferry, which would take them to their destinations.

The fire broke out in the vessel's funnel as it was sailing between Samos and the island of Ikaria, the ship's owner said. Hellenic Seaways Vice President Antonis Agapitos said the ship was one mile (1.6 kims) off the port of Karlovassi on Samos. It was not clear what caused the fire.

The four women and one man who needed treatment for smoke inhalation were given first aid by doctors on the ship, and then taken to Samos by coast guard launch.

Weather conditions were fair, while a tug was sent to the scene.

The Nissos Mykonos left earlier today from the port of Piraeus, Greece's biggest, and was heading for Samos with stops at the islands of Syros, Mykonos and Ikaria.

It was the ship's first journey on that route this season.

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