A massive cruise ship in Venice, Italy suffered engine failure causing it to lose control and crash into the dock where it hit a smaller tourist boat. The collision happened at about 8:30 in the morning on the Giudecca Canal, which is a major thoroughfare that heads to Saint Mark's Square in the northeastern Italian city.
According to the Italian media, there were at least five people who were slightly injured because of the incident. It was also reported that four of the injured people were on board the River Countess tourist boat. All four were taken to the nearest hospital for immediate care.
The MSC Cruises, owner of the MSC Opera, issued a statement saying that the cruise ship was about to dock at a passenger terminal in Venice when it encountered a mechanical difficulty. Reportedly, two towboats guiding the cruise ship into Venice attempted to stop the colossal cruise ship but failed to prevent it from crashing into the riverboat.
"The MSC ship had an engine failure, which was immediately reported by the captain," Davide Calderan, head of a towboat company, told the Italian media.
"The engine was blocked, but with its thrust on, because the speed was increasing," he added.
Videos of the crash showed people running away from the scene as the gigantic cruise ship rammed itself into the wharf.
An eye-witness named Elisabetta Pasqualin was watering plants on her terrace when she heard sirens and stepped out to see the incident.
“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.
Pasqualin described the ship “advancing slowly but inevitably towards the dock.” She added, “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.”
Venice’s port authority announced that they are already working to resolve the accident and free up the obstructed canal. “But from tomorrow we need to move, all together and as quickly as possible, to resolve the cruise ship traffic problem,” Pino Musolino of the North Adriatic Sea Port Authority declared.