SIBU: Passengers of an express boat, which was about to depart from the Song terminal, panicked after noticing thick smoke emitting from the engine room.
Song Bomba chief Nasihin Jaum said five firemen were despatched to the scene after they received a distress call from a member of the public.
"The boat was about to depart for Sibu when a passenger saw thick smoke from the engine room," he added.
He said as the 136 passengers began to panic, the skipper of the boat told them to quickly disembark.
"The boat was not on fire as the excessive smoke actually came from its exhaust system caused by the poor functioning of the engine," he said.
Nasihin said all passengers were safe and firemen took about one hour to control the situation.