A fire broke out on Pyotr Tchaikovsky while it was moored at the Oktyabrskaya Embankment in St Petersburg, causing one death last Thursday morning.
The Russian Emergencies Ministry said that the fire started in the mechanic’s cabin at about 5.30am local time. A 25-year-old crewmember died from injuries caused by the fire while being transported to the hospital.
All 320-passengers and crew of Pyotr Tchaikovsy as wells as the ship next to it were evacuated. The fire-fighters accessed the burning ship via the Sergey Diaghilev which was docked next to it.
According to Newsweek, the fire was contained within 32 square feet and put out after about 40 minutes.
A New Zealand couple John and Chris Burton who was on the Sergey Diaghilev told The New Zealand Herald of their ‘harrowing experience’.
They were woken by a loud Russian voice on the intercom, followed by a crew member knocking on their door and motioning for them to grab life jackets and get on-shore.
“We joined a large gathering and noted the arrival of several fire trucks followed by ambulances. We had literally nothing but our sleepwear,” said the Burtons.
After an hour standing on shore they were allowed back on the ship and told that the day would proceed as scheduled.
The Pyotr Tchaikovsky is run by Russian company Doninturflot and operates river cruises between Moscow and St Petersburg.
The North-Western Investigation Department for Transport of the Investigative Committee of Russia has opened criminal investigation on the fire.