Carnival Cruise Ship Catches Fire During Visit to Turks and Caicos Islands

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Carnival Cruise Ship Catches Fire During Visit to Turks and Caicos Islands

A Carnival Cruise Line ship caught fire Thursday morning during a visit to the Turks and Caicos islands, the company has confirmed.

In a statement shared online at 8:45 a.m. ET, Carnival Cruise Line verified that a fire broke out in the funnel of its Carnival Freedom ship while it was in Grand Turk.

The company says its "emergency response team quickly activated and extinguished" the flames.

"All guests and crew are safe, and the ship's guests were cleared by local authorities to go ashore," Carnival said added.

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Carnival Freedom departed from Port Canaveral in Florida on Monday for a five-day cruise, according to the company. It is due back on Saturday.

Social media users began sharing images of the blaze erupting from the ship's "Whale Tail" around 7:45 a.m. ET. Photos and video of the fire show a massive plume of black smoke billowing into the air as crews worked to put out the flames.

The Carnival cruise ship "Freedom" sits docked at the port of Civitavecchia, Italy, on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2007. Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. are increasingly catering to U.S. tourists who want to dodge the rising euro while visiting Europe. The trend will help reverse two years of share declines for both companies.
The Carnival cruise ship "Freedom" sits docked at the port of Civitavecchia, Italy, on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2007. Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. are increasingly catering to U.S. tourists who want to dodge the rising euro while visiting Europe. The trend will help reverse two years of share declines for both companies.

Victor Sokolowicz/Bloomberg via Getty

One passenger told WESH 2 News that passengers onboard the ship put on life jackets, but said no evacuations were ultimately ordered.

At 10:15 a.m., Carnival Cruise Line shared a photo of Carnival Freedom guests "onshore at Grand Turk along with guests from Mardi Gras, as scheduled."

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The cause of the fire remains unclear. Carnival Cruise Line said it will "continue to assess the situation."

Built in 2007, the 948-foot Carnival Freedom can carry just over 3,500 passengers, according to Cruise Mapper.