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North Sea Ferry Arson: Man Appears In Court
A man has appeared in court charged with arson intending to endanger lives after a fire on a North Sea ferry led to an emergency evacuation.
Boden Hughes, 26, of Sunderland, was initially charged with arson following the fire on the DFDS ferry on Saturday but the charge was amended to a more serious charge at North Shields Magistrates' Court today.
The fire is thought to have caused damage worth £815,000.
Four crew members and two passengers had to be winched off the DFDS King Seaways ferry after they inhaled smoke when the fire broke out 30 miles off the Humberside coast.
The six people were taken to Scarborough Hospital by RAF helicopter but were not said to be in a serious condition.
A further 15 passengers and eight crew members were treated by doctors for smoke-related injuries on board the ferry after the fire, which started in a cabin at around 10.45pm. It was extinguished within 15 minutes.
The 30,000-tonne ship returned to Newcastle Ferry Port, in North Shields, at around 4am on Sunday but passengers were kept on board until 9am while police investigated.
The 26-year-old ship, which has room for 1,500 passengers and 600 cars, was carrying 946 passengers and 127 crew when the fire broke out.
A 28-year-old man who was also detained on suspicion of affray has been bailed pending further enquiries.
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