Join The Discussion

 

RadioShack sees stock jump on investment report

Fort Worth-based RadioShack saw its stock increase as much as 45 percent on Friday as investor Standard General LP said it was continuing talks on new financing for the electronics retailer.

read more >

Fort Worth couple gets in 'Shark Tank,' comes out with deal

A Fort Worth couple who started a business when they couldn’t sleep, were the first entrepreneurs to get a deal on ABC’s Shark Tank in the season premiere on Sept. 26.

read more >

20 from Dallas-Fort Worth on Forbes wealthiest list

There are 20 Dallas-Fort Worth residents listed among the 400 richest Americans, according to the Forbes 400 list of The Richest People in America 2014.

read more >

Internal audit says EPA mismanaged Fort Worth project

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — An internal audit by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reveals the agency mismanaged an experiment using new ways to demolish asbestos-ridden buildings.

read more >

Texas Wesleyan acquires two strip shopping centers on East Rosedale

Texas Wesleyan University has purchased two strip shopping centers on East Rosedale Street across from its Southeast Fort Worth campus, the university’s president said Friday.

read more >

Suit: Fire risk known before Carnival ship sailed


CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN, Associated Press

McALLEN, Texas (AP) — Carnival Cruise Lines knew about the risk of leaks from engine fuel hoses and recommended taking precautions on the ill-fated Carnival Triumph, which caught on fire at sea, according to documents filed in recent days.

A "compliance notice report" sent to the Triumph one month before it departed Galveston, Texas, on Feb. 7 for what was planned as a four-day cruise recommended that spray shields be installed on engines' flexible fuel hoses, according to documents filed Tuesday by Carnival Cruise Lines in federal court in Miami.

A leak from a hose on engine No. 6 led to a fire early on Feb. 10 as the ship returned from a stop in Cozumel, Mexico. No one was injured, but the fire disabled the ship. More than 4,000 people aboard endured a nightmarish tow to Mobile, Alabama, that the plaintiffs' attorney called a "floating hell."

CNN first reported on the newly filed documents Tuesday. They are part of a lawsuit that was filed in February against Carnival Cruise Lines and its parent Carnival Corporation on behalf of dozens of the Triumph's passengers.

Frank Spagnoletti, a Houston attorney who represents some of the passengers, said Tuesday that Carnival was negligent in maintaining the ship and allowed it to sail knowing there was a risk of fire.

Neither Carnival nor its legal team immediately returned calls after business hours Tuesday. But in a response filed Tuesday in Miami, Carnival said the ship's engines passed inspection before departing and its own recommendation to install spray shields on flexible fuel lines was beyond any required safety measures.

It was that recognition of the problem, which the company gave two months to fix, and the decision to let the Triumph sail before it was corrected that galled Spagnoletti.

"You've got 4,000 souls on that ship. You know that there's a propensity for fire if these fuel hoses break and yet you give them two months to fix it?" he said.

In a Nov. 22 deposition, ship captain Angelo Los said he was first notified by Carnival about problems with fuel leaks from flexible hoses in January. During the deposition, Spagnoletti showed Los the compliance notice report dated Jan. 2, which cited nine fuel leaks on Carnival Corporation's ships during a two-year period.

The compliance notice report said Carnival together with the engine manufacturer was investigating the problem and that installing spray shields would be an effective safety barrier. It described an incident on another ship outfitted with the spray shields that avoided a similar fire.

The company gave the ship until Feb. 28 to come into compliance.

Los said in November that he believed Carnival had known about the problem since March 2012. The spray guards were partially installed on Triumph, but not on engine No. 6, Los said. The hose that leaked was less than six months old.

"The spray shields for the flexible fuel hoses were an additional Carnival Corporation recommended best practice to avoid fuel fires," the company said in its response Tuesday, and not otherwise required by any regulation or statute.

Carnival Cruise Lines also argued the notice sent to the Triumph was only for fuel lines above the engine room floor plates. The leak occurred on a fuel hose beneath the engine room floor. However, the January notice to Triumph does not specify that or differentiate between hoses above or below the floor.

"The leak in the flexible fuel hose was a completely unexpected accident that took place," the company said. What ignited the fuel is unknown, it said.

Passengers described unsanitary conditions after the fire, as toilets stopped functioning and an unbearable stench drove many to camp out on the decks. The weary travelers finally disembarked in Alabama on Feb. 15.

Spagnoletti echoed many of the passengers in crediting the crew with putting out the fire and then making the best of a horrible situation.

"It was unbelievable to me that you would take 4,000 people and put them in a situation of basically Russian roulette," Spagnoletti said. "Basically every time that vessel went out they never knew whether they were going to have a fire or not."

 

 

< back

Email   email
hide
Arena
What do you think of the new plans for a new Will Rogers arena and changes at the Convention Center?