Cruise ship rams into tour boat in Venice

MSC Opera (Photo: Ritossa)
MSC Opera (Photo: Ritossa)
MSC Opera (Photo: Ritossa)
MSC Opera (Photo: Ritossa)

Four people suffered minor injuries after a cruise ship struck a dock and a moored tour boat in Venice, Italy, on Sunday, June 2.

The incident, which occurred at the city's Giudecca canal at around 08:30 local time, involved the MSC Cruises ship MSC Opera and the smaller river tour boat River Countess.

Onlookers at the dock were forced to run for safety as the 275-metre-long cruise ship seemed to sail out of control and ploughed into both the dock and the moored tour boat.

One eyewitness said the incident resembled "a scene from a disaster movie."

Local media outlets state four tourists were injured as they tried to flee the dock.

MSC Cruises said that MSC Opera "experienced a technical issue" as it was manoeuvring to berth at the Giudecca canal's San Basilio pier.

Local port authorities repeated their calls for the banning of cruise ships in the Giudecca canal as they launched an investigation into the incident.

The canal, one of the biggest in Venice, has been experiencing high cruise ship traffic for years, which has become a cause for concern among the city's residents as well as the local government.

Many observers claim the waves created by the large vessels sailing through the canal are the main reason for the erosion of the city's foundations, which in turn is said to have made flooding more frequent.

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Baird Maritime / Work Boat World