Costa cruise ship adrift off Seychelles after fire

February 27, 2012 3:52 pm


The Costa Allegra berthed in Hong Kong prior to its maiden voyage/AFP
ROME, Feb 27 – An Italian cruise ship from the same fleet as the tragedy-struck Costa Concordia is adrift off the Seychelles with more than 1,000 people on board following a fire, Italy’s coast guard said on Monday.

Fire crews on board managed to put out the blaze near generators in the engine room, and no one was injured on the luxury ship, the Costa Allegra.

The ship however issued a mayday call seeking assistance from any nearby cargo ships and there was a power blackout on board, the coastguard said in a statement.

It said it had contacted local authorities in the Seychelles, adding that the accident happened near Alphonse Island some 200 nautical miles from the Indian Ocean archipelago’s main island.

A Seychelles official said help was on the way.

“We have made contact with the vessel. We are sending assistance,” said Michael Rosette, deputy army chief of staff, adding: “There are no casualties.”

The coastguard said all 636 passengers and 413 crew on the ship, which left Madagascar on Saturday on its way to the Seychelles, were “in good health and were informed promptly of the situation.”

“The Costa Allegra’s engines are out but its communications are working,” it said.

Costa Crociere, which is based in Genoa in northern Italy, said it had been informed of the fire at 10:39am (0939 GMT) in Italy.
“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,” it said.

“The general emergency alarm was promptly declared. All passengers and crew members not managing the emergency went to the muster stations,” it said.

“Checks are under way in the engine room to re-start the instruments necessary to reactivate the functioning of the ship,” it added.
“Tugboats and other support means are on their way,” it said.

The Costa Allegra, built in 1992, weighs 28,597 tons and is 188 metres (620 feet) long.

The Costa Concordia crashed into the Italian island of Giglio last month with 4,229 people from 60 countries on board in a tragedy that claimed 32 lives.


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