A cruise ship has crashed into a dock and river boat in Venice, the tremendously popular site for both tourists and cruise ships, injuring at least five people in the incident, reports Metro.co.uk.
The MSC Opera smashed into the busy Giudecca Canal, a major thoroughfare that leads to Saint Mark’s Square, at around 8.30am in Italy today, police confirmed.
At least five people are believed to have been injured in the incident.
Video of the crash shows the cruise ship, apparently unable to halt its momentum, plowing into the much smaller river boat and the dock as dozens of people run away in panic.
Technical problem claimed to be the reason
The cruise ship’s owner, MSC Cruises, said the ship, the MSC Opera, was about to dock at a passenger terminal in Venice when it had a mechanical problem.
Two towboats guiding the cruise ship into Venice tried to stop the massive cruise ship, but they were unable to prevent it from ramming into the river boat.
In a statement MSC said: “This morning at around 8.30am the MSC Opera while manoeuvring towards its berth ready to dock had a technical problem. ‘The ship was accompanied by two tugs and struck the berth near San Basilio and then consequently collided with a river boat. “
An investigation is underway to understand what happened exactly and the company is working closely with the local authorities.
Davide Calderan, president of a towboat association in Venice, said: “The two towboats tried to stop the giant and then a tow cable broke, cut by the collision with the river boat.”
Calderan said the cruise ship’s engine was locked when the captain called for help. Following the accident, calls for banning cruise ships in Venice, long a source of contention in the over-extended tourist city, were renewed.
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