Fuel leak started fire on cruise ship

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

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.

AP