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Coast Guard: Leak Caused Carnival Cruise Ship Fire

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Passengers walk down the terminal from the crippled cruise liner Carnival Triumph on February 14, 2013 in Mobile, Alabama. (credit: Jeff Gammons/Getty Images)

Passengers walk down the terminal from the crippled cruise liner Carnival Triumph on February 14, 2013 in Mobile, Alabama. (credit: Jeff Gammons/Getty Images)

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — A Coast Guard official says the cause of the engine-room fire on the Carnival cruise ship Triumph was a leak in a fuel oil return line.

In a teleconference Monday, Cmdr. Theresa Hatfield estimated that the investigation of the disabled ship would take six months.

She said the Bahamas is leading the investigation, with the Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board leading U.S. interests in the probe.

She said investigators have been with the ship since it arrived Thursday in Mobile, and interviews have been conducted with passengers and crew.

The ship left Galveston on February 17 for a four-day trip to Mexico. The fire paralyzed the ship early Sunday, leaving it adrift in the Gulf of Mexico until tugboats towed it to Mobile.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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