American Queen resumes cruise after gasket failure

At Oak Alley, La., this morning, the 436-passenger American Queen experienced a gasket failure in one of her stacks. Safety procedures were followed and passengers reported to their muster stations at 5:45 a.m. and returned to their staterooms 15 minutes later.

Guests in five staterooms have been temporally relocated.

The crew saw white smoke coming out of the starboard stack and put out the fire, a Coast Guard spokesman in New Orleans said. Both the crew and the Coast Guard are investigating the cause of the gasket problem.

There were no injuries, pollution or other casualties on the vessel, which was carrying 298 passengers and 170 crew, the Coast Guard said.

The boat was cleared to sail to Baton Rouge, La., Sunday at 5 p.m. as scheduled. The 418’x85′ sternwheeler underwent a $6.5 million refurbishment and resumed cruising last April.

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