Coast Guard investigating cruise ship fire that killed three people

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MIAMI — The U.S. Coast Guard assembled a joint investigative team with the National Transportation Safety Board and is sending four marine safety professionals from Coast Guard Sector San Juan, Puerto Rico and the Cruise Ship and Investigation National Centers of Expertise, to investigate Thursday’s fire on the cruise ship Insignia in St. Lucia that claimed three lives.

The Coast Guard and the NTSB are participating with Insignia’s flag state, Marshall Islands, to conduct a safety investigation of the casualty.

The cruise ship, carrying 656 guests, reported the fire in the engine room while in St. Lucia Thursday morning. Two contractors and an Insignia crewmember died as a result of the fire and another crewmember was injured. All passengers aboard the vessel safely disembarked in St. Lucia.

The Coast Guard was accepted by Marshall Islands as a substantially interested state under international procedures for investigating marine accidents, because the vessel transits to and from U.S. ports and had onboard many U.S. passengers.

Insignia was on a 10-day cruise which departed San Juan, Puerto Rico, December 7, 2014 and was scheduled to arrive in Miami December 17, 2014.

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