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Police debunk reports that clown caused cruise ship brawl

By Danielle Haynes

July 28 (UPI) -- Police in Britain and P&O Cruises confirmed Sunday that no one dressed as a clown was involved in a fight aboard a cruise ship, an altercation that drew attention because of the alleged involvement of a colorfully dressed passenger.

Hampshire police and cruise officials denied the involvement of anyone wearing "fancy dress."

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"There is no information to suggest that a clown or anyone wearing fancy dress was involved in this incident," a police spokeswoman said.

The fight happened Thursday evening during a black-tie party held aboard the Britannia cruise ship.

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Cruise officials confined two suspects in the fight, a 43-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman, in their cabins until the ship docked in Southampton on Saturday morning. Police then arrested the two and released them from custody Sunday.

At last six people sustained cuts and bruises during the melee, including one staff member, authorities said.

Journalist Richard Gaisford, of ITV's Good Morning Britain, was on the cruise and tweeted about the incident.

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"There was blood everywhere," Gaisford said on Twitter. "Violent late-night brawl in the buffet onboard @pocruises Britannia left staff who intervened injured, as passengers used furniture and plates as weapons. Witnesses told me they were so frightened they had to hide, as family groups fought."

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Gaisford said the fight happened on the last leg of the weeklong cruise to Norway's fjords. He said the cruise's staff rushed to the 16th floor after learning about the incident.

Gaisford said witnesses reported that the fight was sparked by someone dressed as a clown.

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