Anders Sjöberg with Oskarshamn emergency services explained that everyone onboard the Queen of Scandinavia ferry when the fire broke out has been evacuated.
“We just secured a facility there where we plan to bring all the people. We are doing so as we speak,” he told the TT news agency early Friday morning.
According to police, a total of 238 people were forced to leave the boat because of the fire. At least an additional 500 to 600 people reside in the boat, which is docked in Oskarshamn’s harbour.
Residents of the Queen of Scandinavia are employed by French engineering firm Alstom and the company’s suppliers.
They have been contracted by OKG, which operates the Oskarshmamn nuclear facility, to renovate the plant and most of the workers were on the job when flames erupted in the boat’s machine room shortly after 11pm on Thursday night.
The fire was extinguished around an hour and a half later, but it remained unclear when residents could return to the boat because the fire had knocked out the boat’s power.
“It’s a decision the boat’s captain needs to make. Otherwise the municipality and social services will need to arrange temporary housing,” explained Alf Jacobsson of the Kalmar police.
The M/S Queen of Scandinavia is a ferry which shuttled passengers between Stockholm and Helsinki in the 1980s under the name M/S Finlandia.
In 1989 the boat was sold to Danish shipping company DFDS, which used the boat on a route between Copenhagen and Oslo.
Since February of this year, the boat, which is 166 metres long and 28.5 metres wide, has been docked in Oskarshamn and serving as a floating hotel.