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Cruise ship fire leads to loss of life for two employees

Laws pertaining to workers injured on cruise ships are different from laws that generally apply to employees who work on land. Maritime and admiralty law specifically deal with offshore injuries, including injuries and wrongful deaths of Florida residents.

A fire broke out on board a cruise ship sailing on the west coast of Norway recently resulting in the wrongful death of two cruise ship employees. The fire apparently began in the engine room of the ship.

Thankfully, the fire broke out while the cruise ship was docked and not while out at sea. Because the ship was at port, emergency responders were able to fight the fire and prevent the ship from capsizing.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing. Interestingly, this cruise ship company also operates four other cruise ships with the same exact engine as the ship that had the fire. The ship's operator and the engine manufacturer believe that the engines are safe. However, they do not know why the engine caught on fire.

The ship, built in 1994, actually can accommodate 691 passengers. However, only 207 guests were on board the cruise ship when the fire erupted, along with a crew of 55 people. Two of the ship's crewmembers died as a result of the fire. None of the passengers were injured on board the ship.

If this ship had been at sea and had been filled to capacity, the fire could have resulted in catastrophic injuries and even more deaths. If someone is injured on board a cruise ship, it is important to remember to contact an attorney who is experienced with maritime and admiralty law.

Source: OH&S, "Cause of Norwegian Cruise Ship Fire Still Unclear," Sept. 20, 2011

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