A Spanish ferry carrying 334 people in the Canary Islands had to return to port when a fire broke out on one of its car decks, forcing an evacuation of the vessel.

No one has been injured.

A spokesman for the Armas shipping company, Manuel Vidal, said the ferry Volcan de Taburiente returned to Los Cristianos port in Tenerife late yesterday after setting sail for the island of La Gomera.

Mr Vidal says a fire had started in the cab of a lorry and that all 319 passengers and 15 crew members were safely evacuated.

Spain's maritime rescue service said it scrambled a helicopter and a ship to escort the ferry back to port.

Mr Vidal said today that several passengers had panic attacks, but no one was injured.

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