Passengers recall experiences after cruise ship fire kills 3

Oceania Cruises provides accommodations, refunds for affected passengers

MIAMI – Passengers aboard an Oceania Cruises ship that caught fire Thursday, killing three people, arrived at Miami International Airport on Friday morning with plenty of stories to share.

"It hasn't been fun," Arizona resident Steve Kargman told Local 10 News.

Kargman was among the hundreds of passengers who waited at Terminal D after their winter cruise was suddenly canceled after a fire started in the engine room of the Insignia, killing three workers.

"My wife was getting into the elevator as we heard this explosion," Kargman explained. "We went up to the ninth floor by the pool area and looked out and there is black smoke billowing out of the top of the ship."

Passengers were evacuated as smoke filled the hallways and staterooms. Some passengers suffered minor injuries in the rush to get off the ship. One man waiting at Terminal D said he hurt his hand but declined to say how.

Home video showed hundreds of passengers huddled in a holding area waiting to be briefed on what happened and how they were going to get home.

"We were most concerned with the contents of the safe -- you know, jewelry, passports, keys to get home," Texas resident James McCoy told Local 10.

Passengers had to leave most of their belongings on the ship, but the Miami-based cruise line promises to return them. McCoy said he was able to get their valuables out of the safe.

Oceania was providing accommodations in Miami for passengers as they waited for connecting flights to get home. Passengers were also promised a full refund and a 50 percent credit towards a future voyage.

"They gave us a 100 percent refund," Louisiana resident Jorenda Stone told Local 10. "You know, it's nothing. It's nothing. We're going to be home. We're alive."

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