Cruise ship disabled, adrift after fire - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Cruise ship disabled, adrift after fire

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- A fire on an Italian cruise ship in the Indian Ocean has left more than 1,000 people in the dark, with the vessel adrift in a region where Somali pirates have been active.

No casualties were reported aboard the Costa Allegra -- a ship owned by the same company that owned the Costa Concordia, which capsized off Italy about six weeks ago, leaving at least 25 dead and seven other missing.

Tug boats from the island nation of Seychelles are headed to the ship, which is without power after the fire in the generator room. But the tugs aren't expected to reach the vessel until tomorrow afternoon at the earliest. And a top military official in the Seychelles says it's not yet clear just when the cruise ship might be brought back to port.

An Italian Coast Guard commander says the passengers are "fine," but that the ship is adrift because the engines aren't working. He says the fire danger is over.

The general region where the cruise ship is adrift -- off the coast of Tanzania -- has seen a rash of attacks by Somali pirates, but they have never hijacked a cruise ship.

A Seychelles official says armed guards are on board the ship. She says it's standard practice nowadays for cruise ships.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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