A FRENCH ferry with 470 passengers and 137 crew members aboard was forced to make an emergency stop in Mallorca after it caught fire at sea.
The blaze broke out in the hold of the vessel, named Tariq Ibn Ziyad, while en route from Marseille to Algerian capital Algiers, with a distress call placed and around 35 cars torched, Spanish authorities said.
Three people were hospitalised and another 26 treated for smoke inhalation and minor injuries at Alcudia Port after a field hospital was set up.
Firefighters managed to extinguish the flames, with passengers and crew placed on two replacement boats from parent company Algerie Ferries.
Mayor of Alcudia, Antoni Mir, said: “It was very difficult for them to enter at first.
“It was a very big operation. There were 15 Civil Protection response teams.
“People were scared and needed to be calmed down because they didn’t know whether their car had been affected. There was a brief outbreak of violence.”
Those on board are reported to be mostly French and Algerian.