Explosion Rocks Port in Gibraltar – Independence of the Seas Avoids Damage

Several news sources are reporting that an oil tank exploded at the port in Gibraltar today. Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas cruise ship was in port at the time of the explosion. One newspaper reports that the cruise ship was due to sail at 4 p.m. but was "berthed nearby" when the oil tank exploded. The cruise ship then reportedly "quickly sailed away and anchored in the bay." The Gilbraltar Chronicle reports that two people ashore were injured, one reportedly seriously due to burns. Twelve cruise passengers were injured. The cruise line issued a statement indicating that the injuries are allegedly "minor." Subsequent news sources are saying that eleven Britons and one Swiss passenger sustained injuries consisting of burns, abrasions and a dislocated finger. Radio Gilbraltar ran a live feed of the fire as it continued to burn, with an additional oil tank involved. Radio Gilbraltar reports that the Independence of the Seas felt the "full force" of the blast: There is an indication that the explosion may have been caused by a spark from welding. If you have photos or video of this incident, please contact us and we will post them on our blog. Photo credit: Top: Gibraltar Chronicle Bottom: Panorama newspaper in Gibraltar (Douglas Cumming)

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