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By Gopi Chandra Kharel | February 14, 2013 12:55 AM PST

A Carnival cruise ship, which was stranded in the Gulf of Mexico due to a fire in the engine-room Sunday, had mechanical problems weeks earlier, the cruise ship company said.

The company has also cancelled 12 more cruises aboard the Carnival Triumph, which is now being tugged to a port in Mobile, Ala.

The Canadian government is sending officials to Mobile to help any Canadians who may have been on board the ship, CTV has reported.

After the Carnival Triumph was left adrift following the engine-room fire, more than 4,000 passengers and crew members found themselves stranded helplessly in the waters.

The passengers said that the condition inside the ship was dismal. They said they faced problems such as limited access to food, scorching heat inside the rooms due to lack of air conditioning and filthy bathrooms.

There are others who are getting sick due to the overall poor condition of the ship.

The cruise liner has, however, disputed the reports saying that the staff members were doing everything they could to assist the passengers.

The ship that left Texas last Thursday with 3,143 passengers and 1,086 crew members was left stranded 240 kilometres off Mexico's Yacatan Peninsula when the fire broke out in the engine. The ship started for a four-day cruise on Sunday.

Carnival spokesperson Vance Gulliksen said that during the Triumph's previous voyage, it had suffered electrical problem in the alternator and the repairs were completed Feb. 2.  The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the entire incident.

The ship was originally planned to be tugged to Progreso, Mexico, but now is heading towards Mobile. The cruise was left adrift until Tuesday before tugboats arrived to drag it to the shore.

The cruise ship company has already arranged 15 buses to take passengers to hotels in Mobile and New Orleans, a spokeswoman from the city of Mobile has told reporters.

Carnival said that passengers would be able to fly home on chartered flights. All the passengers would get an additional $500 in compensation apart from a full refund of expenditures and discounts on future cruises. 

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