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Explosion on cruise ship kills four

MIAMI, May 25 (UPI) -- Four crew members were killed and several others were injured Sunday in an explosion on a cruise ship docked in Miami, the Coast Guard said.

Chief Petty Officer Anastasia Burns, a spokesman for the Coast Guard in Miami, said the explosion occurred in the boiler room of the SS Norway just before 7 a.m. Sunday, about two hours after the ship completed a weeklong cruise of the Caribbean.

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In addition to four dead, a total of 17 people were injured. Burns said four of the injured were listed in critical condition in area hospitals. Identities of those killed and injured were unavailable.

None of the 3,400 passengers on the Norway were injured and left the ship as scheduled later in the morning.

"The possible cause (of the blast) is a steam leak in the boiler room," Burns said.

Burns said the incident was being investigated as an accident. The Miami Herald, on its Web site, quoted a Miami-Dade police officer as saying the explosion was "just an unfortunate accident" and not an act or terrorism.

The Coast Guard said the investigation into the explosion was continuing.

The Herald reported that the ship has had a series of safety violations, including during the Memorial Day 2001 weekend when a cruise was canceled after a spot inspection uncovered some 100 violations.

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The Norway is owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines.

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