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Cruise Ship Burning Off Fla. Coast

July 20, 1998

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ The rear section of a Carnival cruise ship burned Monday, with black smoke billowing as crew members leaned over a railing to try and put out flames.

Hundreds of passengers gathered on the upper decks of the Ecstasy at the other end of the ship and watched the blaze, but there were no signs of lifeboats being lowered into the water.

Many passengers donned life vests and appeared to be moving about the ship calmly.

A spokesman for the ship’s owner, Carnival Corp., said none of the more than 2,000 passengers was being evacuated.

A Coast Guard vessel was near the ship, hosing it down.

``There’s no way to say whether the ship has to be evacuated,″ said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Marcus Woodring.

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