- The Washington Times - Monday, February 18, 2013

The engine room fire aboard the Carnival Triumph was caused by a leak in a fuel oil return line, a Coast Guard official confirmed Monday.

Cmdr. Theresa Hatfield estimated that the investigation of the disabled ship would take six months, with the Bahamas leading the probe.

The U.S. Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board are representing the United States in the investigation, which has been ongoing since the ship docked Thursday night in Mobile, Ala.

The ship left Galveston, Texas, on Feb. 17 for a four-day trip to Mexico. The fire paralyzed the ship early Sunday, reducing more than 4,000 passengers and crew to urinating in shower drains, eating onion sandwiches and sleeping in tents on the ship’s deck for four days in the Gulf of Mexico until tugboats towed it to Mobile.

Carnival since has offered the disgruntled passengers a refund, as well as discounts on future cruises and a compensation package for up to $500.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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