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Viking Grace runs aground carrying 300 passengers

Viking Grace ran aground near the Mariehamn harbour on Saturday. Rescue officials said passengers were not in danger.

Viking Grace -alus kuvattuna Maarianhaminan lähellä.
Image: John Peter / AOP

Viking Grace ran aground off the coast of Mariehamn in the Åland Islands around 2pm on Saturday. Passengers were not in any immediate danger, according to ferry company Viking Line and the West Finland Coast Guard.

The ship, which can carry up to 2,800 people, had 331 passengers and 98 crew members on board at the time of the accident.

The accidents occurred just half a kilometre from the Mariehamn habour.

The West Finland coast guard dispatched vessels and a helicopter to the accident site, though it said no leaks had been reported.

Pekka Niittylä of the West Finland Coast Guard said no decision had been made regarding passenger evacuations.

"The ship ran aground in a storm. There’s no danger and I don’t know much else yet," Viking Line spokesperson Johanna Boijer-Svahnström said.

Yle meteorologist Joonas Koskela said storm winds near the Mariehamn harbour reached 26 to 27 metres per second at the time of the accident.

This is the second Viking Line ferry to run aground this autumn. In September passengers evacuated Viking Amorella after it got stuck in the Åland archipelago.

Newsstand tabloid Iltalehti was the first to report the news.

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