Cruise ship fire was a “great test” for St Lucia – Anthony

insignia-cruise-ship-740

Insignia cruise liner

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Sunday December 14, 2014, CMC – Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony has described the recent fire on board a cruise liner that left three people dead as a “great test” for St Lucia.

“I extend my sympathy and condolences to the families and friends and to the owners of the ship,” Anthony said in a statement.

He said incidents such as the fire on board the “Insignia,” while it was in Port Castries earlier this week, are unfortunate and costly, emotionally and otherwise.

Anthony expressed his gratitude to local stakeholders, including officials of the St Lucia Fire Service (STFS) and the St Lucia Air and Seaports Authority (SLASPA), for the way they handled the incident, noting that they had done so “calmly and with a clear sense of purpose and direction.

He also thanked the owners of the vessel for their support and co-operation, as well as their trust in St Lucia’s ability to manage the situation.

“I think it is really a great test for us and I believe we have good reason to feel that despite this tragedy, we handled the situation very well,” the Prime Minister said.

“Our thoughts and prayers will remain with the crew members who died and members of their family. This is a tragedy that was unexpected,” Anthony said.

Officials said that post mortem examinations will be conducted on the bodies this week and that arrangements are being made to fly as many passengers as possible out of St. Lucia via charter.

The St Lucia Air and Seaports Authority said in an earlier statement that the fire started in the engine room of the Insignia.

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