Venice cruise ship crash caused by engine failure

Venice cruise ship crash

The crash of cruise ship in Vernice, Italy this weekend was caused by engine failure according to Italian authorities. The massive cruise ship of the company MSC Opera lost control on its arrival in the port of Venice, strucking a wharf and a river shuttle, causing four light injuries.

A cruise ship caused panic when it arrived in San Basilio-Zaterre in the Giudeccace Canal in Venice on Sunday. Out of control, the huge liner struck a dock and a tourist boat before docking, Italian media reported.

“I ran away quickly and jumped on the ground”

Video footage posted on Twitter show tourists on shore running away in front of the ship, which can carry nearly 2680 passengers. The latter scrapes the dock all along the San Basilio-Zatterre, roaring engines, then hit a tourist boat, the River Countess.

“When we saw the boat approaching us, everyone started shouting and running,” said a sailor who was on the River Countess, quoted by Italian media, before adding: ” I did not know what to do, I fled quickly and jumped to the ground, “the man continues.

The four injured are tourists, aged 67 to 72, from Australia, New Zealand and the United States, according to media reports.

Engine failure

According to the port authorities, the accident would be due to engine failure. “The MSC boat had an engine failure, which was immediately reported to the captain,” Davide Calderan, head of the tugboat company escorting the ship to its berth, told Italian media.

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The two tugboats in charge of guiding the boat in the canal tried to slow it down, but one of the chains connecting them to the giant ship jumped under pressure, Davide Calderan said.

Environmental damage

The accident rekindles the intense controversy over the damage inflicted on the site — the port city and its lagoon are listed as UNESCO heritage — and its fragile ecosystem by huge cruise ships that sail exceptionally close to the site. shore. The ships are accused by conservationists of contributing to the erosion of the foundations in this regularly flooded city.

“What happened in the port of Venice is a confirmation of what we have been saying for some time,” tweeted Italian Environment Minister Sergio Costa. “Cruise ships do not have to sail along the Giudecca, we have been working to move them for several months (…) and we are close to a solution,” he promised.

Power failure in 2011

The port authorities said they were working to unblock the canal. “But starting tomorrow we must move together and as quickly as possible to solve the problem of cruise ship traffic,” said Pino Musolino of the North Sea Authority of the Adriatic Sea.

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Built fifteen years ago by the Chantiers de l’Atlantique (Naval Group) in France and operated by the Italian-Swiss cruiser MSC Cruises, the MSC Opera had already suffered a power failure in May 2011 during a cruise in France.

Andrei Santov

Andrei, a sociologist by profession, born in Russia but currently located in UK, covers mostly European and Russia-related news for The Talking Democrat.