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Two killed after cruise ship blaze

A fire in a cruise ship's engine room has killed two crewmen, injured nine others and forced over 200 passengers to evacuate a popular cruise off Norway's craggy western coast. Police suspect an on-board explosion.

Thick black smoke billowed from the stern of the boat, the MS Nordlys of Norway's Hurtigruten line, even before it pulled into the dock at Aalesund, 230 miles north-west of the capital of Oslo.

The ship's emergency evacuation began after the fire started at 9am local time, with more than 100 passengers piling into lifeboats.

The rest of the ship's 207 passengers and 55 crew were evacuated at the dock at Aalesund.

Aalesund Hospital said nine people had been admitted, two with serious burns and smoke injuries.

Police said all of the injured and dead were members of the ship's crew.

"Our suspicion is that there was an explosion in the machine room," acting police chief Yngve Skovly of the Sunnmoere Police District told reporters.

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