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Cruise Ship Generator Catches Fire

January 12, 2000

MIAMI (AP) _ A generator on a Carnival Cruise ship caught fire early today, leaving the ship adrift for several hours, but the blaze was put out quickly and no one was injured, the Coast Guard and the company said.

The Celebration was heading toward Jamaica today after a delay of several hours, and the passengers’ seven-day cruise out of New Orleans would be cut short, the company said. There were 1,586 passengers and 667 crew members on board.

The fire in an auxiliary generator started around midnight and was put out within minutes by automated firefighting equipment, Carnival spokesman Andy Newman said. There are three auxiliary generators, all located in the middle of the 733-foot ship, he said.

The ship was about 100 miles west northwest of Jamaica, said Petty Officer Janna Vic.

Newman said passengers were told about the fire, but they were not required to get their life vests. They were told to stay where they were, since there was only emergency lighting, he said.

The ship was adrift for about six hours and was temporarily without running water, toilets or air conditioning, Newman said.

``Right now there is limited electricity on the ship,″ he said. ``They are working to restore power.″

Running water was later restored and breakfast was served at about 8 a.m., Newman said.

The ship left New Orleans on Sunday, with the first stop to be Montego Bay, Jamaica, followed by stops at Grand Cayman Island and Cozumel, Mexico.

Now, after the ship arrives in Montego Bay later today, the passengers will be flown back to New Orleans or to their homes, Newman said.

Passengers were going to be given full refunds and a free seven-day cruise.

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