The Coast Guard has announced its finding on the Carnival Triumph cruise ship fire, which left 4,200 people stranded in the Gulf of Mexico for five days. Leaking fuel apparently lit up, prompting the engine room to flare up.
USA Today clarifies that diesel fuel has leaked from a return pipe on engine No. 6, bursting into flames as it has come in contact with a hot surface.
The fire in the engine room was quickly contained by staff, according to Lt. Cmdr. Teresa Hatfield of the Coast Guard Marine Casualty Investigation Team.
"They did a very good job," she notes.
Officials are performing an investigation into how the pipe burst and what ignited it, an inquiry that is likely to take at least six months. As the cruise ship is registered in the Bahamas, Bahamian authorities are heading the operations.
A preliminary investigation by the Coast Guard should end this week, report say. On Thursday night, the cruise liner was towed to Mobile, Alabama. It had left Galveston, Texas, on February 7 for Mexico.
As the 893-foot (272-m) is 14 years old, it was transported to BAE Systems for damage assessment and repairs.
3,143 passengers and over 1,000 crew members were stuck on board with no sewage, electricity or air conditioning until the ship was dragged to Mobile, The Guardian adds.
Conditions on board following the fire have been described as unsanitary. On Monday, February 11, tug boats helped the vessel arrive in Alabama.
Carnival Cruise Lines have decided to compensate passengers for the experience on the cruise. They will be paying for tickets to Mexico, compensate the fees paid for the cruise and offer every traveler a free cruise. In addition to that, every client is set to receive an extra $500 (€373).