A crippled luxury cruise ship with nearly 1,000 people, including 58 Indians, is expected to reach Malaysia after drifting for 24 hours following a fire in its engine rooms.

The Azamara Quest, which had left on a 17-day Southeast Asian cruise, drifted in southern Philippine waters after a fire broke out on Friday night.

The fire knocked out its engines and injured about five crew members.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency has dispatched a patrol boat to sea borders of Philippines and northern Sabah to help escort the stricken ship into Sandakan port.

The ship resumed its journey after power and propulsion had been restored.

The 11-deck cruise ship with 590 passengers, mostly American and European, and 411 crew members, including 58 Indians is yet to enter Malaysian waters off Kudat, said MMEA Regional Enforcement chief for Sabah and Labuan First Admiral M. Karunanithi when confirming that the vessel was heading to Sandakan.

“We are trying to get exact location of the current position for the cruise ship from our counterparts in the Philippines,” The Star quoted him as saying.

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