Enormous MSC Cruise Ship Crashes Into Crowded Venice Port, Injuring at Least Five

Videos of the incident offer a firsthand look at the 13-deck vessel barreling into the tourist-filled dock.

byCaleb Jacobs|
Enormous MSC Cruise Ship Crashes Into Crowded Venice Port, Injuring at Least Five

A commercial cruise ship suffered a catastrophic engine failure off the coast of Venice, Italy on Sunday, leaving it uncontrollable as it headed toward a nearby dock. With no effective way of steering the vessel, it resultantly crashed into the harbor—a hotspot for tourists—injuring five people, according to the Associated Press.

The news has made headlines worldwide with videos of the incident also being posted online, showing the situation from a firsthand perspective:

Operated by MSC, the Opera cruise ship was built to hold more than 2,675 passengers and, in this instance, it was carrying travelers back to Venice after visiting Kotor, Montenegro as well as the Greek cities of Mykonos, Santorini, and Corfu. Two nearby tugboats worked to guide the ship away from the dock after the captain immediately reported the engine failure but failed.

As can be heard in the videos, those aboard the ship and on shore were left wondering aloud what might come of the shipwreck. 

While there are obvious and immediate effects that come with a crash of this magnitude, Italian activists are using the episode to make a political point. Recently, there's been a swing of protest regarding Venice's acceptance of cruise ships that, due to their size, block narrow waterways and obstruct tourist views. This was not lost on Twitter after Sunday's happenings as Italy's environment minister Sergio Costa posted:

"What happened in the port of Venice is confirmation of what we have been saying for some time. Cruise ships must not sail down the Giudecca. We have been working on moving them for months now ... and are nearing a solution."

A politician with the Italian Left party, Nicola Fratoianni, even went as far as to call cruise ships "steel monsters" which "risk carnage" in the seaside town.

An MSC spokesperson explained to NPR that the cruise ship is now being moored at the Marittima terminal and has begun passenger operations.