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April 4, 2013

Crews corral cruise ship drifting loose in Ala. storm

MOBILE, Ala. — The crippled cruise ship whose sewage-filled breakdown in the Gulf of Mexico subjected thousands to horrendous conditions tore loose Wednesday from the dock where it’s being repaired, lumbered downriver and crunched into a cargo ship.

Wind gusts near hurricane strength shoved the 900-foot Carnival Triumph free from its mooring in downtown Mobile, Ala., where the ship was brought in a five-day ordeal that began when an engine fire stranded it off of Mexico.

A 20-foot gash about 2 to 3 feet wide was visible about halfway up the hull from the water and it wrapped partway around the stern. Underneath the gashed area, two levels of railing were dangling and broken.

Electric cables were dangling from the left side of the ship. Carnival said damage, though, was limited.

Some crew members and workers had been staying on the ship while it was being repaired and people could be seen looking out the windows and on the deck of the ship Wednesday.

Carnival said all 800 of its crew members and contractors who were working aboard were safe.

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