CNN Report on Triumph Fire: Carnival Cruise Line Knew of Danger Before Sailing

Triumph Cruise Ship FireAnderson Cooper aired a short special last night on his program AC360.

Over and over again, Carnival engineers indicated on their Triumph inspection reports and maintenance records that one of the ship's diesel generators was way past due for maintenance. The cruise ship was out of compliance with the IMO's Safety of Life at Sea requirements.

Carnival irresponsibly delayed and deferred maintenance and overhaul of the diesel engine. 

The program indicates that the Triumph had a dangerous propensity for a fire problem but Carnival neglected the engines and then set sail anyway. CNN said that the fire was a disaster waiting to happen and the cruise line risked the passengers' lives and well being.   

The problem could be traced back for over a year to a "dangerous pattern" of fuel line leaks on other ships, including the Carnival owned Costa Allegra which previously erupted in fire.

This fire, which disabled the Allegra, fore-shadowed the Triumph fire. There were reportedly nine instances of fuel leaks from flexible fuel hoses throughout Carnival's fleet. The cruise line was recommending the installation of spray shields on some but not all of its ships to protect the flanges Carnival Triumph Cruise Ship Fireand hoses from leaking fuel on hot spots which would ignite.

The hose which was not shielded on the Triumph sprayed fuel which ignited the fire. This was foreseeable and preventable. 

The documents were produced by Carnival in a lawsuit filed by a lawyer in Houston.

Carnival is defending the lawsuit by saying that no one was physically injured. Plus it claims that the cruise line offers no promise of a safe trip and passengers have no right to sue for unsafe or unsanitary conditions during the cruise.

Carnival also says that it is spending 300 million dollars to make improvements and prevent fires.

The images are from the CNN special. You can see additional photographs on our Facebook page

Watch the video below. 

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Comments (6) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Cynthia Garland - December 17, 2013 6:24 AM

How can they put people in a foreseeable dangerous situation and get away with this. They should be liable to all those passengers on Triumph. And also, they should be carefully watched. So this does not happen again.

Interesting - December 17, 2013 8:10 AM

Very interesting. However, I don't believe maintenance should be considered 'improvements'. A tune up on a car isn't an improvement, nor is cleaning the gutters on a house.

I wonder how much the CEO pocketed in salary and bonus during the years under he his watch when he elected to forgo the much needed maintenance that contributed directly the life/safety of 3000+ people? He should held criminally and tried.

Next up - any news about the fire on the Royal Caribbean ship Grandeur of the Seas? Wonder if they have the same issues of delayed maintenance?

Lori - December 17, 2013 9:55 AM

Wouldn't this prove negligence and remove this from being an accident but put them in accountability?

Jim Walker - December 17, 2013 10:03 AM

Lori: Yes this is negligence no doubt. But Carnival says that the passengers did not suffer any physical injury, only inconvenience and annoyance which are excluded by the terms of the passenger ticket. Jim Walker

John Goldsmith - December 17, 2013 7:25 PM

Well Jim, I've written to you before, so you are aware that I actually like to cruise.
The recent article on the P&O ferry company was in a word Excellent. I am not writing today to defend the industry, but to re-comment on the corporate mentality.
I firmly believe that in the ivory towers with the legendary "back room" All the senior executive have studied at the J.Bruce Ismay School of Ship management.
I have read the entire inquiry from the original hearings with Senator Smith and passing the buck is natural for these guys.
So Jim, Please keep nipping at their heels, Maintenance seems to be an issue. Any CHIEF ENGINEER worth his salt will keep a vessel in Ship Shape and Bristol Fashion.
Thanks

Dan - December 18, 2013 1:27 PM

Imagine Carnival, and I'm sure its sister cruise lines like Holland America, Seabourn, Costa, Alegro, etc have similar language in their contract that the ship does not have to be seaworthy, healthy, and so on.

Basically, that entire portion of the contract says it is okay for the ship to not be compatible with life!

Wow!

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