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Old March 23rd, 2006, 03:27 PM
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THIS IS WHY you don't allow SMOKING IN ROOM!!!!!!!

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica - A fire apparently started by a cigarette spread smoke through a cruise ship in the Caribbean early Thursday, killing an American, injuring 11 other people and damaging about 150 cabins, officials said.


The Star Princess was en route from Grand Cayman to Jamaica when the blaze started at about 3 a.m., according to a statement from Princess Cruises, which is owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp.

The American died after suffering cardiac arrest, Princess spokeswoman Julie Benson said without releasing the victim's name. Two passengers suffered "significant smoke inhalation injuries" and nine others had "minor complications," a company statement said.

Two people were hospitalized in Montego Bay and two others were being treated in the ship's clinic, Jamaica's disaster office said.

Horace Peterkin, president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, toured the scorched ship after it docked in Jamaica and said crew members told him the fire apparently started on a cabin balcony. A cigarette was suspected of causing the fire, which damaged about 150 cabins, Peterkin told The Associated Press.

He described the victim as an elderly American man.

The ship was carrying 2,690 passengers and 1,123 crew members. The Princess Cruises Web site said the Star Princess has more than 700 balcony staterooms and four pools.

Peterkin said 550 passengers whose cabins were damaged will be moved to two hotels in nearby Negril and Ocho Rios. The cruise ship company was arranging to fly other passengers home, he said.

The ship was not damaged seriously and will sail back to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Friday, Peterkin said. There was no immediate confirmation from cruise line officials.

Star Princess sailed from Fort Lauderdale on March 19.

"The ship is seaworthy," Peterkin said. "They'll sail out tomorrow."

The fire-blackened Star Princess docked in Montego Bay just before noon. No smoke was seen coming from the vessel as rescue personnel boarded. All passengers remained on the ship.

The starboard side of the ship, which faced dockside, showed no damage. But dozens of cabins on the other side appeared to be charred.

Some passengers milled on the decks, but they were too far away from reporters.

The U.S. Coast Guard dispatched investigators and fire engineers to help in the probe, Coast Guard Petty Officer James Judge said in Miami. Teams were expected to arrive Thursday afternoon.

"Our No. 1 concern right now is safety," Judge said.
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 03:28 PM
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Initial reports on incident root causes are usually 99% WRONG.

“We haven’t found out yet where the fire in the ship started or why it started,? Newsome said.
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 03:34 PM
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This just came out & is posted all over the Internet & its big news. Hope they have a replacement ship for the next few weeks because alot of people are going to be hopping mad who have upcoming cruises.
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 03:42 PM
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Current article on MSNBC plus ship photo of damage.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11975460/
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 05:32 PM
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If people are hopping mad because this tragedy will affect their cruise plans then we as a society are truly doomed.
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 06:02 PM
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Default Updated information on ship fire

If this fire started on a balcony that escapes me. There is absolutely nothing on balconies that is flammable. Have to wait and see I guess.


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Old March 23rd, 2006, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassandra
This just came out & is posted all over the Internet & its big news. Hope they have a replacement ship for the next few weeks because alot of people are going to be hopping mad who have upcoming cruises.
I say let them be mad. If their cruise is worth more than the life that was lost and the injuries of the people, and what had to be sheer terror for the other passengers, then they need to re-evaluate their priorities.

I was one of those whose cruise was effected by Katrina last year. The ship I was suposed to be on was repositioned and my cruise cancelled. Was I upset or hoping mad, nope, I understood and endorsed Carnivals decision. I was able to rebook my cruise for the same week but even if I was unable to do that, I would have been disappointed but to me, the lives and safety of others is way more important.
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 10:10 PM
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I don't know about anyone else, but I am going to wait for the PROFESSIONAL INVESTIGATORS from the US Coast Guard, Bermuda (where the ship is registered) and England to arrive and conduct their professional investigations. "Someone" said it "MIGHT" have started from a cigarette. I will wait to see what the professionals say after concluding their investigations before spreading rumors and innuendo. And no, I don't work for Princess cruises.
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Old March 24th, 2006, 12:20 AM
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Hi,

RIGHT ON !!!!

Thank you !
Cheers
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TIME TO BOARD YET ??
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Old March 24th, 2006, 05:59 AM
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If you have ever stayed in one of those balconies, you probably have experienced the same thing we did. The Star (along with the other Grand class ships) have staggered balconies. We often found trash on our balcony that had been tossed overboard from the decks above. Some people are so rude. I'll never understand that. There are trash cans and ashtrays everywhere, yet some people still toss stuff over the side. Anyway, if someone tossed a lit cigarette over the side and it landed on someone's beach towel or one of the pieces of trash that inevitably ends up there each morning, I can see how the fire might have started.

The frustrating part is that after seeing pictures of the damage, there is no way I will be sailing the Star on 4/2, but Princess has yet to officially cancel the cruise. I received a call from Cruise Connections (bus to the pier), saying that Princess called them and cancelled. But when we called Princess directly, they say it wasn't cancelled. I do have a hold on a cabin on the Norwegian Jewel, but am holding off until my TA talks to Princess again this morning. Hopefully, they will have reached a decision by then so I can go ahead and book another cruise for the same week.
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Old March 24th, 2006, 06:47 AM
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Princess says: "this cruise and the next are currently cancelled.
People booked in the affected cabins on near future cruises will be
notified of possible changes to their plans."

Sounds like thie ship will sail in Europe as scheduled, but they may be
fixing some of those cabins for awhile. They often do work while
sailing.
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Old March 24th, 2006, 09:28 AM
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Previously posted in Chit Chat:

When I quit smoking I swore that I wasn't going to become one of those crusading "born again" non-smokers. I was the world's happiest smoker and at 3 packs a day I had never, ever tried or intended to quit. At age 41 I was informed that my tests conducted at my military retirement physicial showed signifcant reduction of lung function and the doctor could just about guarantee that I would be hauling oxygen along in about 10-20 years. I quit and have been smoke free for 15 years. I was so addicted to smoking that I never accept the weak excuse that people give that they can't quit or that they enjoy it. Yeah, I really enjoyed the coughing and smelly clothes. I smoked becuase I was addicted.

Having said that, it is now time to expand the crusade against smoking. The incident on the Star is proof positive that this filthy, disgusting habit indeed hurts more than just the smoker. Not only were thousands placed in danger because of this smoker, thousands of future vacations were ruined thanks to one careless smoker. While we cannot and should not ban it entirely, we should continue to make it so difficult and inconvenient for the smoker to find an acceptable place to smoke that thier numbers continue to drop. On cruise ships this could include a ban in the cabins, leaving them only able to smoke on the designated side of the ship and in the casino.

Flame away smokers, I have had my say and I do not care. You say you are a careful smoker??? Yes you may be but having puffed the killer weed for 25 years (yes I started when I was 16), I have had lapses, so that excuse only goes so far. You still insist you only hurt yourself? Bull!!! If not from the fires caused by careless smoking, how about the grieving families left behind when many of you die prematurely? How about the strain on our medical resources?

Please quit!!!! If I could, anyone could.

Added: Those who are expressing doubt about the cause are probably smokers engaging in the ever popular sport of denial.
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Old March 24th, 2006, 11:20 AM
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I can't help but wonder what exactly burned on these balconies. I've not seen a balcony on this ship, but have on others. OK, there could be deck furniture that might burn. There might also be teak or some other kind of wood flooring that might burn. However, after seeing the photos with indications that the balconies melted, I can't imagine teak flooring or wood/cloth furniture generating that kind of heat.

And while it's certainly conceivable that a lit cigaret could have caused a fire, I'm going to wait until we get some official answers to this before I believe it.

Don't the SOLAS regulations dictate that room furnishings (i.e., bedspreads, furniture, etc) be somewhat fireproof? Isn't there a sprinkler in every room?

Dana
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Old March 24th, 2006, 11:24 AM
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Amen Doug! My mother is a smoker & at mid-60's, she's lucky if she weight 100 pounds. She has a smoker's cough & at night when she's sleeping, she breathes like she's running a marathon.

Here in CT & NYC, they have taken the first pushes against smokers. NO BUILDINGS OR RESTAURANTS, MALLS, OFFICE BUILDINGS, etc are allowed smoking. All smoking regardless of the building type are to be smoked outside.

Honestly? You want smokers to quit? Go to the source - knock out the tabacco industry. They need to be shut down. There's no reason to make cigarettes - AND......

I CHALLENGE YOU SMOKERS READING THIS - NAME ONE HEALTH BENEFIT THAT SMOKING OFFERS....

Can't come up with any? Thought not. Smoking offers no health benefits except for a guaranteed early Death...
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Old March 24th, 2006, 02:50 PM
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Dana,

I can't help but wonder what exactly burned on these balconies. I've not seen a balcony on this ship, but have on others. OK, there could be deck furniture that might burn. There might also be teak or some other kind of wood flooring that might burn. However, after seeing the photos with indications that the balconies melted, I can't imagine teak flooring or wood/cloth furniture generating that kind of heat.

And while it's certainly conceivable that a lit cigaret could have caused a fire, I'm going to wait until we get some official answers to this before I believe it.

Don't the SOLAS regulations dictate that room furnishings (i.e., bedspreads, furniture, etc) be somewhat fireproof? Isn't there a sprinkler in every room?


Yes, there is definitely something very wrong with the fact that the balconies are completely gone in the area of the fire.

>> SOLAS regulations requiring use of non-flammable materials for internal construction are VERY strict. This should include the plastic, or glass, or whatever other material used as facades and partitions on the balconies, the insulation in the walls and overheads, deck coverings, and the materials used for false (finish) bulkheads and overheads.

>> There's no conceivable reason for pipes carrying flammable liquids, which mght have ruptured and spilled liquid that fueled the fire, to be in the vicinity of passenger cabins.

>> Even if there was some stray trash, towels, etc., on the balcony, it should not have been anything sufficient to create a fire of that magnitude.

>> It's also incredible that the ship's response to the fire took so long that it spread to about fifty cabins on each of three decks. Either the alarm malfunctioned or the ship's fire parties took a LOT longer to get to the scene than they should have taken.

In any case, the decks of the balconies should have acted as fire blocks.

I agree with the consensus to wait for the official investigation rather than trying to jump to conclusiions, but I will say that the results of the official investigation probably will not be pretty. We also do not know how the victim's heart attack relates to the fire. It's entirely possible that either may have caused, or at least contributed to, the other or that two independent events happened to conincide.

That said, there's no doubt that the collapse, melt-down, or whatever, of the balconies calls into question the safety of the rest of the ship's balconies in particular and the ship's construction and furninshings more generally. The U. S. Coast Guard probably will not allow this ship to sail from the United States with passengers until those quesitns are answered and the problems identified in the answers are corrected. The ship probably will be out of service for several weeks or even months, but I don't expect an announement unitl the investigators figure out the extent of the problem and the required repairs.

JTOL, there are also a very real possibilities (1) that the problem might be beyond economical repair if the use of inappropriate materials in construction is too extensive or (2) that the problems identified as a result of the fire may also exist on sister ships (MV Grand Princess and MV Golden Princess) and perhaps even on other vessels built by the same shipyard, even for other cruise lines. We'll get a better grasp on the ramifications of this incident when we see the results of the investigation.

Norm.
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Old March 24th, 2006, 03:04 PM
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Doug, I agree with you 100% I too am an ex smoker though I was never really addicted, it was more of the crunch of holding the cigarette in my hand. I decided to quit one day made it past 3 months, then 6 then a year and never looked back. I haven't smoked in over 20 years.

But I have worked in bars for 13 years so I am getting the effects of second hand smoke. I got pnuemonia a few years ago and gasped for air, I had to do daily treatments with a nebulizer for my lungs. I felt like I was drowning, it was the worse feeling in the world, I coughed up blood. I will never ever take my lungs for granted as what happened to me was just a taste of what people can go through and I could not work for 2 months. I also have seen my friends mom suffer and die of lung cancer, my uncles girlfriend die of lung cancer, etc. I worry I will die of lung cancer from all the second hand smoke I've had to breathe in order to pay my bills and this is not fair.

Here in Chicago they are slow to pass non smoking laws, the midwest is backward compared to California! They passed a sweet heart deal in Chicago which means that unless you serve food you can still smoke, and even this will take 3 years to fully implement. Our mayor got a nice pay off from the bar owners Im sure! By the time any changes are made I will probally out of the industry as I am already taking steps to go back to school. I think no one should be allowed to smoke in a public place period. It harms other people. Everyone should rent the movie The Insider with Russel Crowe if they want to know the truth about tabacco industry.

Even if this fire was not caused by a cigarette it is a cause of many other fires.

My uncle survived one of the worst school fires in Chicago history some 96 children died if he didn't jump from a window on the 2nd floor he would not be here today. His class mates are not. He was only 12 at the time. Fire maims and kills. Why gamble with peoples lives for other peoples addictions?
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