On Sunday, an ocean ship from MSC Cruises uncontrollably smashed into a stationary Uniworld river cruise ship at a Venice dock. Those aboard the smaller ship fled in dismay while at least five people were injured. Confirmation was received from the Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection that the River Countess was the ship that was hit.
The crash took place on Sunday around 8:30am on the Giudecca Canal according to the Associated Press’ citation of Italian media. The Associated Press reported that MSC Cruises said the MSC Opera was in the process of docking when an unknown mechanical error occurred. The tugboats leading the ship in to dock weren’t able to prevent the accident.
An audio clip was uploaded by the Italian media in which the MSC Opera pilot alerts emergency officers that the ship had lost control and the pilot “activated all the procedures” in an effort to stop the crash with the docked river ship. The pilot said that they had dropped anchors and the tugboats took action to bring the ship to a halt. “Here on the bridge, we don’t understand what happened.” according to the pilot on the audio clip.
Film captured at the scene shows the ocean ship sounding its horn as it overpowers the relatively tiny riverboat at the dock, while many people were fleeing the area.
People flee in panic as a cruise ship crashes into a dock in Venice. The ship also struck a tourist boat, its horn blowing as onlookers ran down the dock. At least five people were injured.
According to the Associated Press, local authorities said that five women – four of whom were aged 67 to 72 – from the riverboat had been wounded. Although one was let out of hospital right away, it was suggested that the others should stay under medical supervision for a couple of days.
A nearby witness, Elisabetta Pasqualin, told the Associated Press that she was attending to her plants as the ordeal took place. “There was this huge ship in a diagonal position in the Giudecca Canal, with a tugboat near which seemed like it couldn’t do anything,” she said. “The bow of the ship crashed hard into the bank with its massive weight crushing a big piece of it. Sirens were wailing loudly; it was a very dramatic scene”.