Passengers endure cruise ship hell in Gulf of Mexico

The Carnival Triumph is due to be towed to land by Thursday. Credit: APTV / US Coast Guard

Passengers who are among 4,200 people on board a stranded cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico have said conditions on the vessel "are getting worse by the hour".

Cabin carpets on board the Carnival cruise ship, which is being towed by a tug boat after being halted Sunday because of a fire in the engine room, are now soaked in urine, according to those on board.

Many have been forced to sleep in tents on deck and food supplies have been reduced to cold onion sandwiches, the passengers reported via a patchy phone line.

The ship is being towed to Mobile, Alabama, at the rate of a few miles per hour. It is expected to reach land on Thursday.