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The miserable run of luck for the Carnival Triumph cruise liner struck again yesterday after a fire forced engineers working on the ship to be evacuated.
A series of at least seven explosions hit two fuel barges on the Mobile River in Alabama on Wednesday evening local time, near to where the beleaguered Carnival Cruise Lines ship was undergoing repairs.
The blasts injured at least three people – although none were Carnival Cruise Line employees. No paying passengers were on the vessel, which was moored on the other side of the river.
The resulting fires eventually petered out on Thursday morning, having drawn local residents to watch the large blaze, which illuminated the night sky.
Coast Guard officials established a one-mile safety zone around the fires, to allow it extinguish safely. The cause of the accident is not clear, although the barges are thought to have been carrying raw fuel.
The cruise ship has suffered a long sequence of mishaps this year, most prominently in the Gulf of Mexico in February after an engine fire left 4,200 passengers with overflowing lavatories and limited food. It was eventually towed to port by tugboats, after spending four days adrift at sea.
Earlier this month, it broke free from its repair berth on the Mobile River, after strong gusts of wind wrenched it from its mooring. It reportedly suffered damage to its rear, after crashing into another vessel. A shipyard worker on an adjacent peer was killed in the incident.