Carnival Splendor Catches Fire Off Mexico, Ship in Limbo

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The Carnival Splendor cruise ship is in limbo about 150 miles south of San Diego after a fire in the engine room.

The US Coast Guard is sending two ships to the scene, Petty Officer Henry Dunphy tells AOL Travel News. The location is about 55 miles west of Punta San Jacinto, Mexico.

"The fire has been extinguished however there continues to be smoke in the area and the ship's fire crews remain on the scene," Carnival Cruise Lines says in a statement.

Currently the ship is operating on emergency generators, while the crew tries to re-start one of the main generators in the forward engine room, Carnival says.

The 113,000-ton ship has 3,266 guests and approximately 1,100 crew members onboard, according to Dunphy.

The ship left Long Beach, Calif. on a 7-night Mexican Rivera cruise on Sunday evening. The fire broke out in the engine room around 6 a.m. this morning, and took about three hours to contain. Then there was a re-flash about 45 minutes after that, Dunphy says.

The ship's engines were shutdown. "At this point they are trying to get the propulsion started again," he says.

Guests were moved from their cabins to the open Lido deck.

"Announcements began at approximately 6.30am advising guests of the situation and asking them to move from their cabins to the ship's Lido Deck, which is an upper level deck with outdoor space," Carnival says in its statement. "Guests are being provided with bottled water and food items and are able to move around on the ship's upper open deck areas."

Two guests and a crew member reportedly suffered panic attacks, but no other injuries were reported.

The Coast Guard is sending two cutters to the scene to assist, the 225-foot-long Aspen out of San Francisco and the 110-foot Edisto out of San Diego, Dunphy says.

UPDATE: Carnival says in an updated statement that a decision has been made to terminate the voyage.

"If power is restored, the ship will return to its homeport of Long Beach, Calif. under its own power. However, arrangements for tugboats have been made so that, in the event power is not restored, the ship will be returned to a port with tugboat assistance."

The cruise line also says guests are being given access to their cabins.

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