Cruise ship rams into tourist boat, dock in Venice leaving several injured

Cruise ship hits boat in Venice, injuries reported

The cruise ship owner said that there was a mechanical problem when trying to dock.

Several people were injured in Italy after a towering, out-of-control cruise ship crashed into a tourist river boat and dock Sunday morning in Venice as tourists ran in panic as a ship's horn blared.

The collision happened around 8:30 a.m. on the Giudecca Canal, a major thoroughfare that leads to the city's famous Saint Mark's Square.

The northeastern Italian city is a tremendously popular site for both tourists and cruise ships, especially during the summer tourist season.

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Videos of the crash posted to Twitter show the cruise ship blaring its horn as it rammed into the much smaller river boat as dozens of people ran away in panic.

Some people can also be seen jumping and falling from the river boat as it is hit by the cruise ship that was apparently unable to halt its momentum. Italian media reported at least five people were injured in the crash.

The cruise ship's owner, MSC Cruises, said the ship, the MSC Opera, was about to dock at a passenger terminal in Venice when it had a mechanical problem. Two towboats guiding the cruise ship into Venice tried to stop the massive cruise ship, but they were unable to prevent it from ramming into the river boat.

The MSC Opera cruise liner stand by a tourist boat following a collision in Venice, Italy, Sunday, June 2, 2019.
(Vigili del Fuoco via AP)

"The two towboats tried to stop the giant and then a tow cable broke, cut by the collision with the river boat," Davide Calderan, president of a towboat association in Venice, told the Italian news agency ANSA. Calderan added the cruise ship's engine was locked when the captain called for help.

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The cruise ship was built in 2004 and has a capacity of 2,150 passengers and weighs 65,591 tons, according to Sky News.

The MSC Opera cruise liner stand by a tourist boat following a collision in Venice, Italy, Sunday, June 2, 2019.
(Vigili del Fuoco via AP)

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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Following the accident, calls for banning cruise ships in Venice, long a source of contention in the over-extended tourist city, were renewed.

In this photo released by the Italian Firefighters, the MSC Opera cruise liner, a towering cruise ship, strikes a tourist river boat, left, Sunday, June 2, 2019, in Venice, Italy, injuring at least five people.
(Vigili del Fuoco via AP)

The incident also came days after a cruise liner collided with a pleasure boat on the Danube in Budapest, killing 7 people and leaving 21 missing and presumed dead, according to Reuters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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