Safety Investigatiors Cite Cause of 1998 Carnival Ecstasy Fire

Wednesday, May 02, 2001
Unauthorized welding on laundry room equipment triggered a fire aboard the cruise ship Ecstasy off Miami in 1998, injuring 22 people and causing more than $17 million in damages, U.S. safety investigators concluded on Tuesday.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said that sparks from the welding equipment caused a fire that quickly spread and ignited a large accumulation of lint in the laundry room ventilation ducts.

The fire migrated through that system to the aft mooring deck where it fed on dock lines, generating such intense heat that it knocked out an electrical system that helped power the ship's engines.

Owned by Carnival Corp., the Ecstasy, with 2,565 passengers and 916 crew, was left adrift several miles east of Miami before rescue crews put out the fire and towed the ship back to port.

Sprinkler systems activated by heat and smoke prevented the fire from spreading to upper decks and other areas of the ship, the safety board found. However, the board concluded that the lack of a fire suppression system on the mooring deck enabled the fire to rage.

Investigators largely praised the crew for its handling of the emergency, but noted shortfalls in procedures for distributing life jackets and accounting for passengers during an emergency. In its recommendations, the board said Carnival should change its procedures to prevent any unauthorized welding or work that could cause a fire and revise information on safety procedures during emergencies.

Crews working on the laundry equipment aboard the Ecstasy failed to obtain the necessary permit to do the work, investigators found.

The board also recommended that the company inspect, and, if necessary, modify electrical circuits to ensure that a single failure could not disable a ship's propulsion system. They also recommended that the cruise ship industry should ensure that fire suppression systems were placed on the mooring decks if they carried equipment in that area of the ship that could burn, and suggested the ships should have emergency call systems in staterooms and crew cabins so people trapped during a fire could at least signal their location.


Shipbuilding

Heavy Lifting: Giant Pipe Racks Shipped for New FPSO

From Brazil to China and then back to Brazil, five pipe racks and three modules weighing a total of 1,871.51 metric tons and measuring 24,075 m³ will be transported

SMM 2016: World Premieres from around the Globe

Some 50,000 trade visitors from the whole of the world are expected in Hamburg for the start of SMM in less than two weeks. And once again, it is fully booked – with a total of more than 2,

Tuco’s New Arctic Workboat to Debut at SMM

Danish producer Tuco Marine said it will reveal a new Arctic workboat daughter craft at next month’s SMM in Hamburg.   Many arctic patrol vessels, icebrakers

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0672 sec (15 req/sec)