Gibraltar Fuel Tank Explosion Leaves 12 Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Passengers Injured

MIAMI, FL—Twelve Royal Caribbean cruise ship passengers and two Spanish workers were injured when a dockside fuel tank blast occurred in the popular tourist destination of Gibraltar on May 31, 2011. The Independence of the Seas cruise ship was moored to a dock near the pier where the fuel tank exploded, the Associated Press reported.

According to information provided, two unidentified Spaniards who were onshore working on the fuel tank suffered injuries ranging from minor to serious. Twelve travelers aboard the Royal Caribbean ship also sustained injuries, which did not appear to be life threatening.

A statement released by Gibraltar’s government stated that the most serious injury sustained by any of the cruise ship passengers was a fractured shoulder. The others allegedly suffered minor burns and other unspecified wounds. The explosion victims were apparently treated for their injuries by cruise ship medical personnel.

Cynthia Martinez, a spokesperson for the Miami-based cruise ship company, contended that while two cruise passengers were on shore when the explosion occurred, they ultimately managed to escape injury.

The cruise initially set sail from Southampton, England, marking the beginning its 2-week voyage. Immediately after the fuel tank explosion occurred, the vessel moved away from the dock. It subsequently departed for Cannes, located on the French Riviera.

Gibraltar authorities were expected to conduct a full investigation to determine the cause of the injurious blast.

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