Fire Breaks Out on MSC Cruise Ship in Venice

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A small fire broke out on the morning of Monday, June 10, 2024, in the main laundry room aboard MSC Cruises’ MSC Armonia, prompting emergency procedures to begin immediately. At the time, the ship was arriving in Venice, Italy, for a scheduled port of call visit.

According to Shipping Italy, local authorities were quickly notified about the fire, and fire brigade teams were sent to the dock to meet the ship in case additional assistance was necessary. Crew members onboard responded swiftly to the alert and extinguished the flames, as well as evacuating the adjacent areas as per safety protocols.

MSC Armonia Cruise Ship
MSC Armonia Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Bia Moraes)

At no time were guests in danger, and there are no reports that the ship’s emergency alarm was sounded or that any call was given for passengers to report to muster stations. The laundry room where the fire broke out was not open for guests’ use, but is the main laundry facility for the vessel.

MSC Cruises issued a statement explaining the incident: “This morning around 6:30 am, during docking in Marghera, a smoke alarm went off in the laundry area of ​​MSC Armonia following a small electrical fire, which was quickly put out without any danger to the passengers and crew,” the statement read.

“Ground fire brigade teams, in collaboration with the authorities, after having been alerted and waiting in the port, boarded the ship to carry out thorough checks and ensure maximum safety of the ship.”

More than 100 local medical personnel were also alerted to the situation and were on hand to meet MSC Armonia in case of burn or smoke inhalation injuries. Fortunately, their services were not required, and no significant injuries have been reported.

A full investigation will be held to thoroughly determine the cause of the fire, as well as to verify the safety of the ship. As MSC Armonia has already resumed sailing on her current 7-night Greek Isles cruise, guests can rest assured that the vessel is undamaged and perfectly seaworthy.

Read Also: MSC Cruises Ships by Size, Age, and Class

The 65,542-gross-ton, Lirica-class ship is the oldest in MSC Cruises’ fleet, having first entered service in 2001. She can welcome 2,679 guests aboard, and is also home to more than 700 international crew members.

MSC Armonia is currently offering 7-night Greek Isles cruises departing from either Bari or Venice, with port visits to Corfu, Zakynthos, Dubrovnik, and Kotor.

Fire Risks on Cruise Ships

Fire is a grave risk on any cruise ship, and all cruise lines take fire safety very seriously. Crew members are trained and frequently drilled in fire response procedures, and every ship carries abundant fire suppression equipment.

Cruise lines also have policies in place to minimize the risk of fire, such as prohibiting smoking except in designated areas and not permitting open flames or potentially hazardous electrical devices onboard.

Carnival Cruise Fire
Carnival Cruise Fire

Small fires do happen, however, such as in engine rooms, kitchens, and of course, laundry facilities. These are often rapidly extinguished, and each incident is thoroughly investigated to ensure any safety concerns are addressed to minimize the risk of another fire.

At times, fires are beyond a ship’s control, such as when lightning struck Carnival Freedom‘s funnel and caused a blaze in March, destroying the funnel’s distinctive portside wing. Such unexpected incidents are always possible, but safety and emergency procedures are in place for fast responses and to safeguard all guests and crew members.

In March 2021, a large fire broke out on MSC Lirica, sister ship to MSC Armonia, while in Corfu, Greece. In that incident, the fire began in one of the ship’s empty lifeboats on Deck 6. The superstructure of the ship was only smoke-damaged but remained structurally sound, and none of the 51 crew members onboard the vessel at the time were injured.

As that fire happened during the industry-wide pandemic shutdown, no guests were onboard MSC Lirica during her warm layup suspension.

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