NTSB Report: Maintenance Deficiencies and Poor Training Led to Caribbean Fantasy Fire and Delayed Evacuation

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) published its findings yesterday regarding a fire on the Caribbean Fantasy cruise ferry, operated by Baja Ferries, near Puerto Rico in August of 2016.  We reported on the fire at the time in our article Caribbean Fantasy Catches on Fire (with video). The ferry was carrying 387 passengers and 124 crew members as well as cargo, trailers, shipping containers, trucks and cars. The NTSB investigators found that the fire started when a pipe leaked fuel onto an engine’s exhaust manifold. The fire spread because fuel valves were bolted open. The fire quickly spread and overwhelmed the fire-suppression system (carbon-dioxide suppression and water-misting equipment) and then burned into the vehicle and cargo areas where cars burned and explosions occurred. After an hour, the master ordered an evacuation which took 3 hours and 43 minutes, rather than the 30 as required under the international…

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