Bystanders ran screaming for safety this morning as the MSC Opera slammed into a Venice Wharf and then into a tourist riverboat, the River Countess. This incident took place in the extremely busy and heavily populated Giudecca Canal.
Onlookers first heard the sound of blaring horns. Then came the sound of metal crashing and scraping against metal as the ship hit the pier, and then wedged herself between the pier and the River Countess.
The MSC Opera then shoved the much smaller River Countess further back into the Canal presumably putting the River Countess, a member of the Uniworld River Cruises fleet out of business for at least the remainder of 2019.
Bystanders Ran Screaming for Safety
Bystanders can be seen screaming and running for safety in panic in videos posted on social media following the crash that took place at approximately 8:30 a.m. (0630 GMT).
Videos show passengers frantically disembarking from the smaller ship which up until the moment of impact was moored at the pier. The ship was soon pushed away from the pier, stranding two passengers on the small gangway.
These events occurred after the 65,000 ton MSC Opera reportedly suffered engine failure. Two tugboats fought to keep the ship in the canal and prevent her from crashing. The tow lines broke, and the ship careened out of control toward the peer and the River Countess.
It has been reported that five female passengers sustained injuries during the incident. One of which was reportedly released from the hospital while the other four were advised to remain for a few days. No further information about these passengers has been released. MSC has yet to respond to a request for comment.
Wow, this just happened outside our apartment!! pic.twitter.com/OfSOdCU2Br
— Duncan Ogle-Skan (@duncanogleskan) June 2, 2019
The MSC Opera, MSC’s original flagship was built in 2004. The cruise ship accommodates 2679 passengers and 720 plus crew members in a total of 1071 cabins.
This isn’t the first crash for MSC Cruise ships this year.
MSC Armonia Crashed into and destroyed a dock in Roatan, Honduras in April of this Year. That incident cost the ships insurer’s 550.000 US Dollars according to a statement issued by Port of Roatan Authorities.