Breaking: Fire breaks out on Costa ship near Seychelles islands

fireA fire broke out today on Italian cruise ship Costa Allegra leaving it adrift off the Seychelles islands. The vessel was carrying 413 crew members and 636 passengers from 25 countries, including eight Americans.

Costa Cruises told Gadling “today at 10:39 CET a fire broke out on board Costa Allegra in the electric generator room. The shipboard fire-extinguishing system and emergency procedures were activated promptly and special fire-fighting squads extinguished the fire.”

Italian Coast Guard commander Cosimo Nicastro told CNN that the ship’s captain confirmed the blaze was quickly extinguished, but the Costa Allegra’s engines are not working. The Italian Coast Guard has dispatched cargo ships near the Allegra to help, and the Seychelles is sending a motorboat, a plane, and two tugs to assist. No injuries or casualties have been reported.

In a statement, Costa reports:

“As a precaution, the general emergency alarm was sounded and all passengers and crew members not engaged in the management of the emergency reported to their muster stations.

Currently the ship is more than 200 miles southwest of the Seychelles and approximately 20 miles from Alphonse Island. Tugboats and other naval and aerial units have been dispatched to Costa Allegra.

According to standard procedures, Costa Allegra transmitted a distress signal and the relevant authorities were alerted, including the Maritime Rescue Control Center in Rome, Italy. Costa Crociere and the relevant authorities are actively monitoring the situation.”

Allegra is owned by the Italian-based Costa Crociere, also the owner of grounded Costa Concordia and a subsidiary of the Carnival Corporation.

Built in 1969 by the Wärtsilä Turku Shipyard in Turku, Finland as the container ship MS Annie Johnson, the vessel was sold in 1986 to Regency Cruises to be converted into a cruise ship under the name MS Regent Moon, but in 1988 was sold to Compania Naviera Panalexandra and renamed MS Alexandra, then sold in 1990 to Costa Cruises who rebuilt the ship in Genoa, Italy, entering service as Costa Allegra.

Flickr photo by JorgeBRAZIL