Alaskan Cruise Back Underway

Thursday, May 25, 2000
A cruise ship hit by fire early Tuesday has been cleared to continue its voyage and was headed Wednesday to its final port of Seward, Alaska, the U.S. Coast Guard said. Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam, a ship with nearly 1,200 passengers and 542 crew members, departed Bartlett Cove in southeast Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park late Tuesday after investigators began their probe of the fire, the Coast Guard said. No one was seriously injured in the blaze, which occurred in crew quarters and was put out within 45 minutes. However, one passenger was evacuated from the ship after becoming disoriented and suffering a head injury, the Coast Guard said. The cause of the fire was still unknown Wednesday, said Coast Guard Lt. Troy Dixon of the agency's marine safety office in Juneau. Early reports indicated that it might have been caused by electrical problems, he said. The blaze started in one crew cabin, which was extensively damaged, Dixon said. In all, up to 20 crew cabins were damaged by flames, smoke and water, he said. The inquiry into the fire continues, he said. "We still have an investigator on board," he said. Another Coast Guard investigator plans to join the ship in Seward, he said. Holland America spokeswoman Juli Chase said the ship's voyage was able to continue as planned across the Gulf of Alaska.

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