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Updated Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 02:16 AM

Cruise passengers return home, feds probe fire

By JAY REEVES and BRENDAN FARRINGTON
Associated Press

Passengers of the Carnival Triumph are trying to put the memories of their nightmarish cruise adrift at sea behind them as they return home.

Many of the roughly 3,000 passengers were bused late Thursday and Friday to New Orleans to catch a flight home or to the ship's home port in Galveston, Texas. One of the buses broke down during the two-hour ride to New Orleans. Passengers on a different bus reported losing their luggage.

While some called the journey a horrible experience after the ship lost power and toilets stopped working, others spoke of bonding with fellow passengers during the long, exhaustive struggle to get home.

The National Transportation Safety Board, Coast Guard and the Bahamas Maritime Authority are investigating the cause of the fire and the emergency response.


Kalin Hill via The Associated Press
Above: Passengers slept and spent their days on the decks of the Carnival cruise ship Triumph, trying to cope with heat and odors after an engine-room fire.




Dave Martin / The Associated Press
Left: The Triumph is towed up the Mobile River into Mobile, Ala., late Thursday with more than 4,200 aboard.




Kalin Hill via The Associated Press
Makeshift tents were erected on the deck of the cruise ship for passengers who said the stench below deck was unbearable.




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