Carbon monoxide sickens members of cruise ship crew

Fire department, hazmat team look for the cause

February 13, 2010|By Jill Rosen | jill.rosen@baltsun.com

Seven crew members aboard a cruise ship headed to Baltimore on Saturday were sickened by carbon monoxide poisoning, rescue officials said.

Fire department crews and a hazmat team met the Celebrity Mercury when it docked in Baltimore to treat the victims and search the 12-year-old ocean liner for the cause of the leak, fire department spokesman Chief Kevin Cartwright said.

The crew members were poisoned while the ship was in transit, Maryland Port Administration spokesman Richard Scher said.

"Obviously, it is being looked at carefully," Scher said.

Further details on the conditions of the crew members were not available Saturday. Representatives of Celebrity Cruise Lines could not be reached for comment.

The 866-foot Celebrity Mercury, which began sailing from Baltimore in November, was on its last cruise of its inaugural season here. It was scheduled next for what the industry calls "repositioning," which includes repairs and restocking for future trips.

The Baltimore debut of the Mercury, which marked the return of Celebrity Cruise Lines to the port after a five-year absence, and new business from Carnival Cruise lines pushed cruise departures and passengers here to new records last year.

The Mercury spent its first season in Baltimore taking passengers on nine- and 12-night cruises to the Caribbean. The ship, with a saltwater pool and champagne and cigar bars, has an occupancy of 1,886.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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