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Engine Fire Strands Galveston-Bound Cruise Ship Passengers in the Gulf [Listen]

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Carnival Triumph

Carnival Triumph (Credit: Scott L./Creative Commons)

The Carnival Cruise ship Triumph, due back in Galveston today, is instead stranded nearly 500 miles southeast of the island with more than 3,000 passengers on board, the result of an engine room fire. Automatic extinguishers put out the fire before it could spread.

The cruise line says another of its ships, the Carnival Elation, responded to the scene and transferred provisions to the disabled boat. At about that time, Brent Nutt‘s wife managed to get a call out.

“She was crying and stuff and said they have no power, they have no running water, they have no way to use the bathroom,” Nutt said.

A tugboat will tow the triumph to Progreso, Mexico, where passengers will be flown back to the United States. It’s expected to arrive in Progreso on Wednesday. The Coast Guard is monitoring the situation. Lt. Julio Gonzalez says it appears there’s enough food and water for the passengers and crew onboard the ship and that right now, they cannot stay in their cabins.

“All the passengers are staying in the public areas of the vessel and the open decks, cause there’s no air conditioning,” Gonzalez said. “The air conditioning is not working right now.”

Carnival says passengers will get a full refund, plus an equal credit for a future cruise. The Triumph departed Galveston on Feb. 7. The Triumph’s next two voyages, set to depart Feb. 11 and Feb. 16, have been canceled and those passengers will be offered a full refund and a discount on a future cruise.

Carnival released a statement last night on their Facebook page, stating all emergency contacts had been reached for over 3,000 passengers on board. Concerned family members may call 888-290-5095 or 305-406-5534 for more information about their kin.

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