Although the investigation into the Carnival Triumph fire could last up to 6 months, the U.S. Coast Guard released preliminary findings from the early stages of the probe.
According to the Los Angeles Times, a fire began in the ship's engine room after a flexible hose attached to a fuel line - running from the fuel tanks to the engine - began to leak. The flexible hose apparently connects the fuel line to engine number six and is designed to prevent shock and vibration, and the fuel leaked onto a hot surface, sparking flames, stated a Coast Guard spokesman.
Carnival Cruise Lines noted that the company agrees with the Coast Guard’s findings about the fire’s source.
Crewmembers quickly contained the fire; the investigation now turns to why the ship lost total power and why it was disabled for so long. They will evaluate the crew’s response. A forensic analysis has been performed on the ship.
U.S. participation in the inquiry is expected to last six months, as the cruise ship fly under the Bahamas’ flag. The Bahaman government is heading the investigation. Investigators remain with the ship, which is docked in Mobile, Alabama.
Crew has already been interviewed. Passengers are also already filing lawsuits against Carnival due to the horrifying conditions on the luxury liner during its tow back to the U.S., including the several times the vessel dangerously listed.