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Three British tourists dead after boat fire in Egypt’s Red Sea

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LONDON (Reuters) – Three British nationals died in a fire on a boat in Egypt’s Red Sea on Sunday, British holiday company Scuba Travel said in a statement on Monday.

Twelve other people also on the scuba diving holiday and 14 crew members were rescued from the ship, the ‘Hurricane’, after the fire broke out at 0530 GMT on June 11, the company said.

The three tourists who died had chosen not to dive that day, while the other 12 were attending a briefing on board when the fire broke out.

They were immediately evacuated by rib, while the captain and two dive guides tried to reach the missing passengers before also abandoning the ship for safety.

Britain’s Foreign Office said it was in contact with local authorities about the incident and supporting nationals involved.

The boat was located off the Elphinstone Reef near the south eastern Egyptian town of Marsa Alam, when the fire started. Egypt’s Red Sea resorts are popular with tourists for their beaches and diving.

The fire was caused by an electrical short circuit on the boat, Egyptian authorities said on Sunday.

“Our sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to their families and friends at this very sad time,” Scuba Travel said.

The local authorities and police will now conduct a full investigation into the cause of the fire, the company’s statement added.

(Reporting by Alun John; editing by Sarah Young)

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