Cruise ship crashes into tourist boat in Venice, injuring five people
02 June, 2019, 17:58
The incident occurred at 8:30 a.m. on the canal, which is major route leading to the northern Italian city's famous St. Mark's Square.
The cruise ship owner said that there was a mechanical problem when trying to dock.
The northeastern Italian city is a tremendously popular site for both tourists and cruise ships, especially during the summer tourist season. The city recently announced it would be introducing a tourist tax from September this year, in a bid to reduce overcrowding.
A cruise ship lost control as it was coming in to dock in Venice on Sunday (June 2), crashing into the wharf and hitting a tourist boat, Italian media reported.
Some people can also be seen jumping and falling from the river boat as it is hit by the cruise ship that was apparently unable to halt its momentum. According to local reports, five people received minor injuries, and emergency services are at the scene.
The cruise ship operator, MSC Cruises, said in a statement that the vessel "experienced a technical issue" while heading towards the terminal for mooring.
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The two tug boats that had been guiding the ship into the Giudecca tried to slow it, but one of the chains linking them to the giant snapped under the pressure, Mr Calderan added.
The Opera, built 15 years ago, is registered in Panama and has a capacity for 2,679 passengers.
From there, it will continue to carry out "passenger boarding and disembarking operations". According to the company website, the ship traveled to Kotor in Montenegro and the Greek islands of Mykonos, Santorini and Corfu before heading to Venice.
Video on Twitter showed the huge cruise ship heading for the dock, shoving the smaller boat out of the way, and causing onlookers on land to flee.
Transport minister Danilo Toninelli said: "Today's accident in the port of Venice proves that cruise ships shouldn't be allowed to pass down the Giudecca any more".
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