March 23, 2006
Coast Guard sends investigators to fire damaged Star Princess
The U.S. Coast Guard has reportedly sent investigators and fire engineers to Jamaica to confirm that Princess Cruises Star Princess can safely return to Fort Lauderdale after a fire broke out that cost the life of one passenger and damaged a number of cabins.
According to a statement issued by Princess Cruises, this morning at approximately 3:10 am local time, as Star Princess was en route from Grand Cayman to Montego Bay, a fire broke out in the passenger accommodations, and spread to adjacent cabins.
The statement says that passengers were immediately notified of the fire using the public address system and requested to report to their muster stations. Princess Cruises subsequently completed a full check to account for all passengers and crew.
"We deeply regret having to confirm that there has been one passenger fatality following a cardiac arrest, two passengers with significant smoke inhalation injuries and nine passengers with minor complications resulting from smoke inhalation," says the statement.
The ship is carrying a total of 2,690 passengers and 1,123 crew members.
A full damage assessment is being carried out now that the ship has arrived in Montego Bay.
According to later media reports, two people were hospitalized in Montego Bay on the ship's arrival in Jamaica.
CNN reports that more than 100 cabins were damaged in the fire. Another report puts the number of damaged cabins at more than 150 and say that 550 passengers whose cabins were damaged will be moved to two hotels in Negril and Ocho Rios.
One report says that the fire was apparently caused by a cigarette and started on a balcony.
A special number has been set up for inquiries from immediate family of passengers who are currently onboard: 1-800-693-7222.