Migrant-smuggling boat catches fire

Eight people were treated for burns at the Iraklio University Hospital on Crete on Saturday night after a boat carrying 23 undocumented migrants caught fire off the coast of Ierapetra.

The boat was carrying 20 men and three women from Egypt, Somalia and Syria hoping to reach Greece, a gateway into the European Union, when a fire broke out in the engine room and spread to other parts of the vessel.

Coast guards responded to the emergency flares launched by the crew and were able to extinguish the blaze. Local fishermen also joined the rescue effort, pulling in passengers who had jumped off the boat into the sea.

Of the eight people injured, six will remain under supervision and two were released with a clean bill of health.