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Austrian passengers arrive on dry land after Allegra ordeal

Some 636 holidaymakers including 97 Austrians were stuck on board the stranded Costa Allegra cruise ship for three days this week. After the hours spent without electricity, water, working toilets or air conditioning, the tourists finally arrived on dry land yesterday (Thurs).

The luxury liner came to a standstill in the middle of the Indian Ocean on Monday after a fire broke out in the ship’s generator room. The boat, which belongs to the capsized Costa Concordia, and its passengers, were left stranded with no electricity and had to have food dropped in by helicopters.

For the last two days the enormous ship had been dragged by two French tugboats, arriving on the island of Mahe in the Seychelles yesterday (Thurs). Passengers have now begun to speak of the ordeal and the fear that they were headed for the same fate as the Concordia cruise ship whose capsizing lead to the deaths of 25 people in January.

"We were terrified that we were going to have to evacuate," explained Sigrid-Maria Größing from Salzburg. Instead the passengers were left on the cruise ship to deal with the difficult conditions. "The showers were turned into urinals because the toilets no longer worked," she said. Temperatures in the cabins rose to 48 degrees Celsius forcing passengers out onto the deck due to the unbearable smell.

Some 37 passengers from Austria arrived in Vienna early today. The rest however have remained in the Seychelles for two weeks' holiday with all costs covered by the cruise ship owners. All passengers will also receive twice the price of their journey in damages.

Austrian Times



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