(NEW YORK) — The U.S. Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board have launched an investigation into the cause of an engine room fire aboard the Carnival Triumph over the weekend that left the 100,000-ton cruise ship stranded in the Gulf of Mexico with limited power and sanitation for the 4,200 people on board.
Sunday’s fire was extinguished by an automated system, but not before it hobbled the ship, according to the Coast Guard.
Because the Triumph is a Bahamian flagged vessel, the Bahamas Maritime Authority is the lead investigative agency, but the U.S. will participate in the inquiry in accordance with international guidelines.
The Triumph is being towed to Mobile, Ala., and should arrive Thursday afternoon.
The ship has been without propulsion in the Gulf of Mexico since Sunday’s fire. There have been no reported injuries to crew members or guests.
Carnival Cruise officials apologized on Tuesday for the crisis. The cruise line said it would get passengers home as quickly as possible when the ship is pulled ashore in the next few days.
“I need to apologize to our guests and to our families that have been affected by a very difficult situation,” Carnival Cruise Lines President and CEO Gerry Cahill said at a news conference.
Passengers on the ship have reported worsening conditions, including scarce running water, no air conditioning and long lines for food.
The Triumph departed Galveston, Texas, last Thursday with 3,143 guests and 1,086 crew on board for a Mexican cruise, which was due to return to the port on Monday.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Melinda Fox, FamilyShare