Electrical appliance caused cruise ship fire, investigators say

Posted: Tuesday, May 30, 2000

JUNEAU (AP) -- An electrical appliance in a crew cabin caused last week's fire aboard the cruise ship Nieuw Amsterdam, Coast Guard investigators said Saturday.

Coast Guard officials did not specify the type of appliance, but Holland America officials said they were cracking down on crewmembers who violate the company's ban on having cooking appliances in their room.

A fleet-wide alert was issued after the fire Tuesday, giving employees one day to turn in any unauthorized appliances, company spokesman Erik Elvejorde said. Those found with such appliances in the future will be fired, he said.

''It's far too dangerous to fool around with these things,'' Elvejord said.

The fire damaged 10 crew cabins while the ship was cruising in Glacier Bay with about 1,200 passengers and 550 crew aboard. No one was injured but one passenger was treated for chest pains.

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