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Cruise ship to be towed to port after engine fire

Updated: 2013-02-12 11:30
( Xinhua)

Cruise ship to be towed to port after engine fire

The US Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous stands by to assist the cruise ship Carnival Triumph in the Gulf of Mexico, in this Feb 11, 2013 handout photo. The cruise ship lost propulsion after an engine room fire on February 10 and was adrift off southern Mexico's Yucatan peninsula.[Photo/Agencies]

HOUSTON - A cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico with more than 4,200 passengers and crew aboard will be towed to Mexico after an engine fire set the ship adrift, US media reported Monday.

The Carnival Triumph, which left Galveston, Texas, Thursday and was due back Monday, will instead be towed to Progreso, Mexico, and the passengers will fly back to the United States aboard chartered planes, according to reports.

The ship has been floating about 240 km off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula since a fire erupted in the aft engine room Sunday morning, knocking out the ship's propulsion system.

No one was injured and the fire was extinguished, according to reports. The ship has been operating on backup generator power since the incident, the Carnival Cruise Lines said in a statement.

Onboard power and sewer system outages have been reported. There are also reports of passengers complaining the sanitary conditions on board.

The US Coast Guard cutter Vigorous arrived early Monday to aid the stranded ship. The first of two tugboats is expected on the scene by midday, Greg Magee, commander of the Vigorous, was quoted by CNN as saying.

The two tugboats will tow the cruise ship to Progreso, the closest port to the location of the ship, late Wednesday.

The Coast Guard does not yet have any information on the cause of the fire.

The Carnival Triumph is a cruise ship owned by Carnival Corp. under its Carnival Cruise Lines brand.