Carnival cruise ship catches fire near Grand Turk Island

The Carnival Freedom cruise ship, which had traveled from Florida and was docked in Grand Turk early Thursday, was covered in thick smoke and flames. The flames have been put out, and no injuries have been reported. The cause of the fire is currently being investigated by authorities.

The company in charge of the ship, Carnival Cruise Line, issued a statement explaining that “Carnival Freedom’s emergency response team quickly activated and extinguished a fire inside the ship’s funnel while the ship was in Grand Turk. All guests and crew are safe, and the ship’s guests were cleared by local authorities to go ashore. We continue to assess the situation.” 

On Monday, the ship departed from Port Canaveral, Florida for a five-day cruise. Grand Turk is a famous tourist destination on a tiny tropical island south of Florida. According to WESH, the ship’s funnel, or “whale tail,” caught fire, which is generally where the cruise ship’s exhaust is located. The extent of the ship’s damage is still unknown. Passengers were instructed to proceed to the muster station and put on life jackets.

Several passengers took to social media to share footage of the towering flames. One passenger tweeted, “Freedom Cruiser – TURKS AND CAICOS. The fire fighting group managed to extinguish the flames from the exhaust system in an effective manner. no injured.  congratulations for the teamwork.” Another simply stated, “Carnival cruise on fire sheesh.”

Carnival Cruise Line has not stated if the voyage would be continued or whether the event will have an impact on subsequent scheduled cruises. According to CruiseMapper, the ship was built in 2007 and is 948 feet long, with a capacity of 3,581 people.

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