Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Coast Guard: Cause of cruise ship fire was a leak

ATLANTA — A leak in a fuel oil return line caused the engine-room fire that disabled a Carnival cruise ship at sea, leaving 4,200 people without power or working toilets for five days, a Coast Guard official said Monday.

Cmdr. Teresa Hatfield addressed the finding in a conference call with reporters and estimated that the investigation of the disabled ship, the Carnival Triumph, would take six months.

Hatfield said the Bahamas —where the ship is registered, or flagged — is leading the investigation, with the Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board representing U.S. interests in the inquiry. The vessel was in international waters at the time of the incident.

She said investigators have been with the ship since it arrived Thursday in Mobile, Ala. She said interviews have been conducted with passengers and crew, and forensic analysis has been performed on the ship.

She said the crew responded appropriately to the fire.

Andrew Coggins, a former Navy commander who was a chief engineer and is now a professor at Pace University in New York and an expert on the cruise industry, said the fire could potentially have been serious.

If the crew hadn't reacted quickly and the fire suppression system hadn't worked, he said, "the fire from the engine room would have eventually burned through to other parts of the ship." Engine room fires that can't be suppressed generally result in the loss of the entire ship, he said.

The Triumph left Galveston, Texas, on Feb. 7 for a four-day trip to Mexico. The fire paralyzed the ship early Feb. 10, leaving it adrift in the Gulf of Mexico until tugboats towed it to Mobile. Passengers described harsh conditions on board: overflowing toilets, long lines for food, foul odors and tents for sleeping on deck.

The cruise ship Carnival Triumph is towed into Mobile Bay near Dauphin Island, Ala., on Thursday.

Associated Press

The cruise ship Carnival Triumph is towed into Mobile Bay near Dauphin Island, Ala., on Thursday.

Coast Guard: Cause of cruise ship fire was a leak 02/18/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 3:36am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida education news: Accountability plan, post-Irma, turnarounds and more

    Blogs

    ACCOUNTABILITY: The Florida Department of Education submits a revised Every Student Succeeds Act plan without the waiver requests it had originally proposed. Experts and advocates …

    High Point Elementary teacher Kristen Bierman works with English language learners on their reading skills. The state wants to test all students in English, saying it's Florida law.
  2. Rays morning after: Zim's legacy felt on bunt play

    Blogs

     

  3. Work, threats continue as Hernando recovers from Irma

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE

    Hurricane Irma's fierce winds are becoming a memory, but the water the storm left behind has become a real threat on Hernando's east side.

    This aerial drone view shows flooding on the Withlacoochee River in the Talisman Estates area of east Hernando, south of Ridge Manor. The river is about 6 feet above flood stage, and its floodwaters are not expected to recede for days.
  4. A boy and a girl stare at the camera from their house after Hurrciane Maria hit the eastern region of the island, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, September 20, 2017. The strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years destroyed hundreds of homes, knocked out power across the entire island and turned some streets into raging rivers in an onslaught that could plunge the U.S. territory deeper into financial crisis. [Associated Prss]
  5. Forecast: Dry air, hot temperatures remain in control across Tampa Bay

    Weather

    Dry but hot weather will continue Thursday across Tampa Bay with only a 20 percent chance of showers forecast for the afternoon.

    7 day forecast. [WTSP]