Independence of the Seas Explosion, RCCL near Gibraltar

Independence of the Seas Explosion, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines near Gibraltar – Tuesday, May 31, 2011 around 3:37 pm local time, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Independence Of The Seas was at the industrial ship dock at Gibraltar with over 6,000 people aboard when a fuel tank exploded on the dock injuring 12 passengers aboard Independence Of The Seas.

11 Britons and one Swiss traveler on Independence of the Seas sustained minor injuries, including burns, abrasions and a dislocated finger. All were treated on board and were able to continue their on the cruise.

Along with the cruise ship passengers, dock workers and a policeman on the dock at the time were also injured. Dock workers and a policeman were also hurt in the blast.

Authorities said the explosion may have been caused by a spark from welding operations.

Immediately after the explosion, the ship retracted the gangway and moved a safe distance from the dock. The ship had been preparing to leave at 4 pm, with two passengers still ashore when the explosion took place.

Independence Of The Seas was on a 14-night Mediterranean cruise, having departing from Southampton in the United Kingdom on May 28, will calls at Cannes and Monte Carlo.