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Jason

Passengers recount cruise ship fire

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MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica:

Some of the hundreds of passengers flying home from their Star Princess cruise today are talking about the fiery ordeal that ended their vacations.

Some say they smelled smoke, others say it was a fire alarm that woke them. Some saw sparks flying past their windows. And some thought they might not make it to safety.

A woman celebrating her 15th wedding anniversary says she saw a "huge fire raging," and began screaming that the boat was on fire. Her husband says he wasn't sure they'd get out of the smoke-filled stairways.

A 72-year-old passenger died of what the cruise line says was cardiac arrest. Two people are hospitalized in Florida for smoke inhalation.

Investigators think an unattended cigarette started it all.

The fire-damaged ship docked yesterday in Jamaica.

Source: The Associated Press

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As has been pointed out on another thread, it remains to be seen whether this was really started by a single cigarette, or whether something else (such as a huge electrical malfunction) went wrong. We're both very much anti-smoking; but we're also against cruise line coverups. It will be interesting to see what the investigation uncovers.

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My thoughts and prayers are with the passengers and crew on this cruise, especially the family of the gentleman who had the fatal heart attack and those who lost everything they brought onboard.

No matter what the cause, they have all endured something that many of us cannot even begin to imagine. And for many, the effects will last a long time.

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