An MSC cruise ship in Venice lost control and simultaneously collided into the dock and a tourist riverboat on a canal on Sunday. Injuring four tourists, the incident has shed light on the importance of placing restrictions on cruise ships in the tourist city, reports India Today.

The collision happened in the morning on the Giudecca Canal which is incidentally a major thoroughfare leading to St. Mark’s Square in the north-eastern Italian city. The cruise ship was unable to stop as it approached the dock; and blared its horn before slamming into a much smaller riverboat and the dock. Dozens of people at the scene of the incident ran away in panic. There were no serious injuries or casualties.

How the cruise ship in Venice lost control

An eye-witness, Elisabetta Pasqualin described the incident stating that she saw the ship advance slowly but inevitably towards the dock. She watched as the bow of the ship crashed into the bank crushing a big piece of it. Sirens immediately when off.

Medical authorities have confirmed that four female tourists from America, New Zealand and Australia between the ages of 67 and 72 were injured as they tried to run away when the cruise ship slammed into the small boat. They were a 111 people aboard the smaller boat that the cruise ship rammed into.

venice cruise ship
Giudecca Canal in Venice (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

MSC Cruise’s owner said the ship in question, MSC Opera, was about to dock at a passenger terminal when it suddenly had a mechanical problem. Two tugboats guiding the huge cruise made an attempt to stop the ship; but they were unable to prevent the accident.

Davide Calderan, president of a tugboat association in Venice explained how the cruise ship’s engine was locked when the captain went on and called for help. The incident has reignited the debate on whether cruise ships should be entirely banned in Venice; which has become over-populated by tourists over the years.

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