Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Suit: Fire risk known before Carnival ship sailed

McALLEN, Texas — Carnival Cruise Lines knew about the risk of leaks from engine fuel hoses and recommended taking precautions on the ill-fated Carnival Triumph that later caught on fire at sea, according to court documents.

A compliance notice report sent to the Triumph one month before it departed Galveston on Feb. 7 for what was planned as a four-day cruise recommended spray shields be installed on engines' flexible fuel hoses, according to the documents filed Tuesday by Carnival Cruise Lines in federal court in Miami.

A leak from a hose on engine No. 6 led to a fire early on Feb. 10 as the ship returned from a stop in Cozumel, Mexico. No one was injured, but the fire disabled the ship. More than 4,000 people aboard endured a nightmarish tow to Mobile, Ala., that the plaintiffs' attorney called a "floating hell."

The documents, first reported by CNN, are part of a lawsuit that was filed in February against Carnival Cruise Lines and its parent Carnival Corporation on behalf of dozens of the Triumph's passengers.

Frank Spagnoletti, a Houston attorney who represents some of the passengers, said Tuesday that Carnival was negligent in maintaining the ship and allowed it to sail knowing there was a fire risk.

In a response filed Tuesday in Miami, Carnival said the ship's engines passed inspection before departure and its own recommendation to install spray shields on flexible fuel lines was beyond any required safety measures.

Carnival issued a statement calling the lawsuit frivolous and noting that the U.S. Coast Guard inspected and cleared the ship before its departure.

"The accident in this situation was just that — an accident," Carnival said in the statement emailed to the Associated Press on Wednesday. "To claim otherwise is simply unfounded and inconsistent with the facts."

It was the recognition of the problem — with a two-month repair deadline — along with the decision to let the Triumph sail before it was corrected that galled Spagnoletti.

"You've got 4,000 souls on that ship. You know that there's a propensity for fire if these fuel hoses break and yet you give them two months to fix it?" he said.

In a Nov. 22 deposition, ship captain Angelo Los said he was first notified by Carnival about problems with fuel leaks from flexible hoses in January. During the deposition, Spagnoletti showed Los the compliance notice report dated Jan. 2 that cited nine fuel leaks on Carnival Corporation's ships during a two-year period.

The compliance notice report said Carnival together with the engine manufacturer was investigating the problem and that installing spray shields would be an effective safety barrier. It described an incident on another ship outfitted with the spray shields that avoided a similar fire.

The company gave the ship until Feb. 28 to come into compliance.

Suit: Fire risk known before Carnival ship sailed 12/18/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 10:45pm]
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. Airbag maker Takata bankruptcy filing expected in Japan, U.S.

    Corporate

    DETROIT — Drowning in a sea of lawsuits and recall costs, Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. is expected to seek bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the United States today.

  2. AP: Rick Scott to name Jimmy Patronis CFO on Monday

    Blogs

    From the AP's Gary Fineout:

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott is turning to a long-time political ally and former north Florida legislator to take over one of the top elected jobs in state government. 

    Then state Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Panama City Beach, left, and Gov. Rick Scott, tour downtown Panama City, Fla. on Tuesday, April 19, 2011. Scott will name Patronis CFO on Monday.
  3. Despite Pride success, Grand Central business owners upset over losing parade

    Events

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Grand Central District was packed with people Sunday, there to enjoy the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    Patrons eat lunch and cool off inside of the Community Cafe during the St. Pete Pride Street Festival along Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. LUIS SANTANA   |   Times

  4. Rays blow another lead, lose rubber match to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Orioles rallied past the Rays on Sunday, winning the rubber match of the three-game series 8-5.

    Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop (6) scores in the eighth in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  5. Tim Tebow heads back to Sunshine State with promotion to St. Lucie

    Blogs

    Tim Tebow is coming back to the Sunshine State.

    Columbia Fireflies outfielder Tim Tebow looks out from the dugout before the team's game against the Augusta GreenJackets on April 6 in Columbia, S.C. Columbia defeated Augusta 14-7.