Stranded Italian Cruise Ship Expected in Port Thursday

Posted February 29th, 2012 at 5:50 am (UTC-5)
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A crippled Italian cruise ship that has been floating adrift in the Indian Ocean is expected to arrive at the main port in Seychelles on Thursday.

Officials in Seychelles say planes are prepared to fly the 1,000 passengers back to Rome shortly after the ship arrives in port.

The Costa Allegra is now being towed by a French fishing boat to Seychelles. The ship lost power and became stranded in the Indian Ocean after a fire broke out in its engine room on Monday.

No one was injured in the fire, but passengers have been without power, communications and air conditioning since the accident.

Members of the Italian navy have been on board the ship to protect it from pirate attacks. Somali pirates have carried out a series of attacks in the region where the ship is stranded.

The vessel is operated by the same company that operated the Costa Concordia, which capsized last month after hitting rocks off the coast of Italy. More than 4,200 passengers were on board, and at least 25 people died in that accident.

Italian prosecutors have filed charges against three executives of Costa Crociere, the Concordia's operator, along with four of the vessel's officers.