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Abandon ship, again?

Although “Allegra" means something of joy, happiness, and cheer, that was not the case when a second Italian cruise ship the Costa Allegra, gave instructions to leave the ship.

The Costa Allegra smaller than La Costa Concordia, left Madagascar headed for the Seychelles Island, when Costa Allegra captain, Nicolò Alba noticed he had no engine propulsion. “A fire in the engine room damaged four principal electrical units and the emergency generator,” Captain Alba telephoning from the Allegra to the Costa Crociere headquarters in Genova about the fire.

The procedure for fire on the ship was initiated. A special fire squadron onboard immediately extinguished the fire with Co2 and other firefighting agents. It was contained there and did not reach other parts of the ship.

There were 1,049 persons onboard: 413 crewmembers, 126 Italians, 8 Americans, and 502 other nationalities with no fatalities or victims.

Captain Nicolò Alba first assistance came from the French fishing vessel “Trevignon” in the area dispatched by the Seychelles Island port authority. In addition, they will help with towing the Costa Allegra to the island of Descroches.

A rescue helicopter from the Indian Navy transported portable phones, food, and other supplies.

Still unknown what caused the fire, Costa Crociere stated, “The Costa Allegra had undergone a maintenance check recently."

Meanwhile, La Costa Concordia Capt. Francesco Schettino, is still under house arrest charged with abandoning ship, and manslaughter. In a recent test of his hair, traces of cocaine were found, but could have been transferred to him during the traditional cheek-to-cheek greeting kiss of the Italians.

Today, the confirmed death toll stands at 25. The recent discovery of 5-year-old Dayana Arlotti, has brought some closure to her mother, unfortunately her father is among the seven unaccounted persons.

The Civil Protection Agency reports that transfer of the fuel onboard the crippled Costa Concordia has been removed, although there is a minuscule amount of fuel remaining in small containers. The good news stated by the agency, “A large concern about fuel damage to the environment has passed.”

The superstition in the aviation sector says, “Aircraft accidents usually come in three.” Let’s hope it does not apply to cruise ships.

Reporting from Benita Pagoria in Rome, La Repubblica, Corriere della Sera, and Skytg24 newspapers. Visit these links for videos and slideshows as they become available.

© 2010 Benita Pagoria

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