Part of cruise ship catches fire while docked in Grand Turk

Part of Carnival’s Freedom cruise ship caught fire Thursday morning while docked in Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands, the cruise line said, sending black smoke into the air.

Photos and videos shared on social media — and with FOX 35 — showed smoke and flames coming from the ship’s iconic red funnel, sometimes called a ship’s whale’s tale.

“All guests and crew are safe, and the ship’s guests have been cleared by local authorities to disembark,” Carnival said in a statement, adding that its emergency response teams were quickly activated and capable of extinguishing the fire.

The ship left Port Canaveral, Florida on Monday, as part of a five-day cruise.

(Photo courtesy of Ricky Ruble)

Later Thursday, Carnival released a new statement and said it was sending one of its other cruise ships – Carnival Conquest – to Grand Turks to pick up the 2,504 passengers and 972 crew who were on the Carnival’s Freedom cruise ship.

As a result, the cruise scheduled for May 27 by Conquest departing from Miami has been cancelled. Additionally, Freedom’s scheduled cruise departing Port Canaveral on May 28 has also been cancelled.

The Conquest ship is scheduled to arrive in Grand Turks on Saturday May 28 and return to Port Canaveral on Monday May 30.

Once all passengers leave the damaged ship, it will proceed to Freeport in the Bahamas to undergo repairs, the cruise line said.

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