Fuel leak started fire on cruise ship

20:20, Feb 18 2013
Carnival Cruise
Beds line one of the outdoor decks on the Carnival Cruise ship Triumph in this February 14 photo, courtesy of Jacob Combs.
Carnival Cruise
A photo by Jacob Combs of bag of human waste in a box on the outdoor deck of a room.
Carnival Cruise
People watch on as the cruise ship is towed toward the port of Mobile, Alabama.
Carnival Cruise
More than 4200 people are on the ship, which was left crippled by a fire in the engine room.
Carnival Cruise
The Carnival Triumph cruise ship is towed towards the port of Mobile, Alabama.
Carnival Cruise
Tugs propel the ship towards the port.
Carnival Cruise
Makeshift beds under sheets line one of the outdoor decks on the Carnival Cruise ship Triumph in this photo by Jacob Combs.
Carnival
The Carnival Triumph cruise ship is towed towards the dock as spectators watch at the port of Mobile, Alabama, on February 14.

A Coast Guard official says the cause of the engine-room fire on the Carnival cruise ship Triumph was a leak in a fuel engine return line.

In a teleconference on Monday (local time), Commander Theresa Hatfield estimated the investigation of the disabled ship would take six months.

She said the Bahamas was leading the investigation, with the Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board leading US interests in the probe.

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

The ship left Galveston, Texas, on February 17 for a four-day trip to Mexico. The fire paralysed the ship early on Sunday, leaving it adrift in the Gulf of Mexico until tugboats towed it to Mobile.

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AP