A ship on the same fleet as the infamous Costa Concordia is now adrift without power in the Indian Ocean after a fire broke out in its’ electrical room, sources indicate. The ship is currently near Alphonse Island, 200 miles southwest of Seychelles (an island country in the Indian ocean). The liner is reportedly carrying over 1,000 people. (Photo Credit: AFP / BBC News)
Officials on Seychelles say that they received a mayday call from the ship after the fire struck, though the fire was put out and no one was hurt. “We have made contact with the vessel. We are sending assistance. There are no casualties,” said Michael Rosette, deputy army chief of staff of Seychelles.
The fire caused a blackout on the ship.
Officials from Costa Cruises indicated that the Costa Allegra was looking for help from cargo ships when it made contact with Seychelles. “Fire security procedures on board were immediately activated and special fire crews intervened. The fire was extinguished and did not extend to any other part of the ship. There were no injured or victims,” said Costa Crocerie, an Italian-based Costa Cruises subsidiary. “The general emergency alarm was promptly declared. All passengers and crew members not managing the emergency went to the muster stations (designated emergency gathering points). Checks are under way in the engine room to re-start the instruments necessary to reactivate the functioning of the ship. Tugboats and other support means are on their way.”
The ship had reportedly left Madagascar on Saturday and was making its way to Seychelles. It had left port from San Diego in the U.S. and is believed to have been headed to Italy. The Costa Allegra is carrying 636 passengers and 413 crew members.
The fire comes just shortly after the devastating cruise ship accident off of the coast of Italy. 25 have been confirmed dead, but with 7 still missing, experts say it is highly likely that the death toll of the Costa Concordia crash is 32.
On the evening of January 13, the giant liner, carrying 4,252 passengers and crew members, crashed into the rocks off of the island of Giglio after the ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, deviate from the set course to ‘salute’ an old coworker who lived on the island. What ensued appeared to be mistake after mistake as the ship delayed declaring an emergency or evacuating and told the coast guard that there was no emergency and that they were investigating a blackout. Schettino was reportedly on his cell phone for an hour after the crash as some judicious crew members started trying to evacuate. By the time an official evacuation began, the ship had begun to tilt, making lowering life boats into the water difficult to say the least.
To make matters worse, Schettino abandoned ship, the scene of the cruise ship accident via lifeboat long before evacuation procedures were complete. He later told police that he tripped and fell into the lifeboat. Schettino is currently the main defendant in the case and will go on trial for multiple counts of manslaughter. Meanwhile, Costa Cruises and Carnival Cruises, Costa’s Fort Lauderdale-based parent company, are facing class-action lawsuits.