US & Canada

Carnival Triumph: Conditions 'worsen' on stranded ship

A small boat from the US Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous patrols near the cruise ship Carnival Triumph in the Gulf of Mexico, 11 February 2013
Image caption Without its stabilisation system, the boat is also listing several degrees due to high winds

Passengers on a stranded cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico have told US media of worsening conditions two days after an engine fire crippled the vessel.

They say toilets are overflowing, there is no air-conditioning and passengers are queuing for hours for food.

The Carnival Triumph will now be towed to Mobile, Alabama, instead of a Mexican port after drifting 90 miles (145km) north of its original location.

The vessel was supplied with food from another cruise ship on Monday.

A similar fire incident left Carnival passengers stranded in the Pacific for three days in 2010.

'Stink'

On Monday, a passenger told ABC News by text message that cabin toilets were overflowing and the carpets were wet with water and urine.

Other passengers reported no air-conditioning inside cabins and an increasing stink inside the ship from sick passengers and a lack of food refrigeration.

Brent Nutt told the Associated Press that while those on board were being fed, his wife, a passenger, told him the vessel was becoming increasingly dirty.

"There's water and faeces all over the floor,'' he said.

"It's not the best conditions. You would think Carnival would have something in place to get these people off the ship.''

A Carnival spokesman confirmed that some passengers were sleeping on the vessel's deck in tents. The ship is carrying over 4,000 passengers and crew.

A second tug boat arrived on Tuesday at the ship's location to help tow the 101,000-tonne vessel towards Alabama.

The journey is expected to take three days in current sea conditions.

In a statement, Carnival chief executive Gerry Cahill said the ship should arrive in Mobile on Thursday and that the change would allow for less complicated re-entry for passengers without passports.

The plan was originally for the vessel to be towed to Progreso, Mexico, before it drifted northward.

The Triumph left Galveston, Texas, last Thursday and had been due to return on Monday.

The cruise ship has cancelled its next two scheduled trips.

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