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Fire aboard Royal Caribbean ship in Jamaica; 1 crew member suffered burns, passengers safe


KINGSTON, Jamaica — A fire broke out on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship Wednesday as it approached Jamaica, burning one crew member and causing passengers to be sent to evacuation stations with life jackets.

Royal Caribbean International said fire suppression equipment quickly doused the blaze in a mechanical area of the Freedom of the Seas as it arrived at the Miami-based company's cruise ship port in the northern town of Falmouth.

"The fire was not very big and none of the visitors had to be evacuated," Jamaica Tourism Minister Wykeham McNeill said.

Video taken from the Falmouth pier showed a plume of gray smoke billowing from a section of the towering 15-deck ship as it arrived at the $220 million port that opened in 2011.

The company said all passengers were accounted for and none were injured. One crew member was treated for a "minor, first-degree burn" and he was treated in the ship's medical facility, company spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez said.

By early afternoon, the passengers were able to "leave the ship to enjoy Falmouth," the company said on Twitter.

The Associated Press was not immediately able to contact any of the passengers.

Royal Caribbean said all systems were operating normally on the docked ship. The cause of the fire was not immediately known and no other details about the investigation were available.

The ship is expected to continue with its regular itinerary, with the next port call on Thursday in the Cayman Islands. The 1,112-foot Freedom of the Seas is on a seven-night cruise that departed from Port Canaveral, Florida, on Sunday.

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