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.AN AWFUL PANIC.

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AN AWFUL PANIC. STEAMER ABLAZE I PASSENGERS AND CREW LEAP I OVERBOARD I Overwhelmed by FlamesI MANY LIVES LOST: VESSEL ABANDONED [SPECIAL TO THE EVENING EXPRESS."] I A Renter's Malta message received at Boon to-day reported that the steamer Sardinia waa on fire about one mild off Malta. The passengers and ert-w were jumping overboard in pafliic. A later Malta message stated that the Sardinia carried 200 passengers. Many lives have been lost, and the vessel has been abandoned. Flames overwhelmed the vessel so quickly that it was impos- sible to render assistance. A strong wind prevailed, and rendered Any attempt &t rescue hopeless, but the Admiralty tugs stood by to render any assistance possible. The vessel had just left Malta for Alexandria with general merchandise, j Reuter's Agency ledums that the Sar- dinia, which left Live-rpool on the 14th inst., took on board at that port between 205 and 30 passengers, principally from Liverpool, for Alexandria, and her orew numbared 44. Alij were British. She had a general oorgo for Alexandria, She was a vessel of 1,516 tons. About half a dozen passengers in the stea.mer booked in London. Lloyd's Malta Agent wires that as the Sardinia was leaving port fire broke out, .and Whan the message was des- patched the forepart was ablaze. A later message at^es:â"The Sar- dinba is still burning, and has gone asho-re off Fort R-ioaseLi. The burnt steamer, which was first reported as the P. and 0. boat named Sardinia, belong-s to the Pa,pay,a,nni EUerman line. Lloyd's list contains five steamers of that name. The Passengers .1 The Sardinia carried twenty ifrst-class and &ix second-claas British passengers when .she left Liverpool. The large incr?aae in the number of souls a.boa.rd a.fter the vessel left Malta is accounted for by the faot that those boats take on boatf-d other deck passengersâLevantines, Mal/tese, and Egyptiansâfor Alexandria. These passengers pitched their tents on t'he upper deck to obta-in shelter for the four days' passage. Another Account I A Central News Malta correspondent tele- gra..phs :-Tb.e large pa«eenger steamer Sar- dinia. belonging to the EIlennan Line caught fire to-day shortly after leaving the harbour. She is now enveloped in great masses of omoke, from which the (tamo < an be seen shooting in all directions. The liner has a general cargo, and carries a large number of Pass e,u ciers. for whose surety the gravest fears are entertained. It ie reported that a number of those on board have been overcome by the flames, but there is no confirmation at present obtain- able. Several Admiralty tugs and pinnaces, in addition to boats from the men-of-war and the shipping craft in the harbour, are trying to render assistance, but owing to the volumes of smoke the task is most difficult. I

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