Cruise Ship Crashes Into Ferry In Venice Dock Injuring 4 Tourists

A massive out-of-control cruise ship crashed into a tourist river boat in the Giudecca canal in Venice, Italy, on Sunday morning, injuring four tourists and sparking new calls for placing restrictions on cruise ships in the famed but strained tourist city.

The collision happened around 8:30 a.m. local time Sunday on the Giudecca Canal, a major thoroughfare that leads to the city’s famous Saint Mark’s Square.The ship, the MSC Opera owned by MSC Cruises, had been preparing to dock at a terminal in the Giudecca Canal.Four people aboard the River Countess tourist boat were injured and taken to the hospital for check-ups, according to the Associated Press.

Shocking videos of the crash posted to Twitter show the cruise ship looming over the dock, blasting its horn and was unable to slow down or straighten out, and rammed into the much smaller river boat as dozens of people ran away in panic.

Ministers said the crash proved the need for a ban on liners, and that they were working to resolve the problem.

“What happened in the port of # Venezia is the confirmation of what we have been saying for a long time: the # GrandiNavi must not pass through Giudecca. This is why for months we have been working with the ministers @ DaniloToninelli and @ BonisoliAlberto to move them and we are close to the solution” Environment Minister Sergio Costa wrote on Twitter (in Italian).

According to Al Jazeera, the ship suffered from engine failure. Two tugboats had been attempting to guide the ship into the wharf, but one of the chains linking them to the ship broke off under the tremendous weight of the ship.
Medical authorities said that four female tourists — an American, a New Zealander and two Australians between the ages of 67 and 72 — were injured falling or trying to run away when the cruise ship rammed into the tourist boat, the River Countess
“The two tugboats tried to stop the giant and then a tow cable broke, cut by the collision with the river boat,” Davide Calderan, president of a tugboat association in Venice, told the Italian news agency ANSA.
At the time, the United Nations threatened to place Venice on its list of endangered heritage sites. The ships have also been criticized for causing a visual disturbance to the picturesque and world-famous city.

“Today’s accident in the port of Venice proves that cruise ships shouldn’t be allowed to pass down the Giudecca anymore,” Danilo Toninelli, the Italian transport minister, said Sunday in an Associated Press report. He continued: “After many years of inertia, we are finally close to a solution to protect both the lagoon and tourism.”

The government has previously tried to resolve the cruise ship debate. In 2013, it banned ships weighing between 55,000 to 96,000 tonnes from entering into the Venetian lagoon by 2022 after a United Nations report stated that the vessels were causing “irreversible changes” to the Venice ecosystem.

In 2017, the government announced that it would divert larger ships away from the historic centre. However, the plans were expected to take four years to come into force.
The MSC Opera was built in 2004 and can carry over 2,675 passengers in 1,071 cabins. According to its sailing schedule, the cruise ship left Venice on May 26 and traveled to Kotor, Montenegro, and Mykonos, Santorini and Corfu in Greece before returning Sunday to Venice.

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