Terrifying footage shows the moment a cruise ship crashes into a tourist boat, injuring at least five people.
The cruise ship was about to dock on a busy canal in Venice earlier this morning (June 2) when it failed to stop, ploughing into a much smaller river boat.
The collision happened at approximately 8.30am on the Giudecca Canal, one of the major canals in the city.
— Russian Market (@russian_market) June 2, 2019
Footage of the incident shows the cruise ship struggling to slow down as it approaches the tourist boat, as people run away from the water in panic.
The owner of the cruise ship, MSC Cruises, said the ship was about to dock at a passenger terminal in Venice when a mechanical problem started to cause problems, ITV News reports.
Two towboats which were guiding the cruise ship, the MSC Opera, into the city tried to slow it down, but ultimately were unable to prevent it crashing into the tourist boat.
#2giugno 8:36 Molo San Basilio, #Venezia: nave da crociera scarroccia andando ad urtare la banchina e colpendo un’imbarcazione turistica. Sul posto motobarche e sommozzatori #vigilidelfuoco, situazione sotto controllo pic.twitter.com/m9FpQ2MaCN
— Vigili del Fuoco (@emergenzavvf) June 2, 2019
Davide Calderan, president of a towboat association in Venice, said the engine of the MSC Opera were locked when the captain called for help.
Speaking to the Italian news agency ANSA, as per ITV News, Calderan said:
The two towboats tried to stop the giant and then a tow cable broke, cut by the collision with the river boat.
Italian media are reporting that at least five people were injured in the collision, as they attempted to run away from the cruise ship. 110 people are reported to have been on the small river boat.
— Beppe Caccia (@beppecaccia) June 2, 2019
Following the incident, calls for banning cruise ships in Venice were renewed, with Italy’s minister for infrastructure and transport, Danilo Toninelli, saying they are close to a ‘solution’ to protecting the dock and tourism.
Toninelli tweeted, as per Google Translate:
Today’s incident at the Port #Venezia shows that they #grandinavi no longer have to pass by the Giudecca.
After many years of inertia, we are finally close to a definitive solution to protect both the lagoon and tourism.
L'incidente di oggi al porto di #Venezia dimostra che le #grandinavi non devono più passare dalla Giudecca. Dopo tanti anni di inerzia, finalmente siamo vicini ad una soluzione definitiva per tutelare sia la laguna che il turismo.
— Danilo Toninelli (@DaniloToninelli) June 2, 2019
A tourist on holiday in Venice at the time of the incident, Duncan Ogle-Skan, told ITV News he could hear shouts over the ship’s horn as it neared land.
The ship’s horn can be heard blasting out over the sounds of tourists shouting and running away, as though to warn people to get away.
MSC Opera had travelled to Kotor, Montenegro, and Greece before returning to Venice today.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).