Cargo Ship Jolly Nero Crashed Into Genoa Port Control Tower

Three people have died and six people are missing after the cargo ship Jolly Nero crashed into the port in Genoa, Italy, toppling part of the control tower into the water.

2013.05.08 - Cargo Ship Jolly Nero Crashed Into Genoa Port Control Tower Figure 1

One of the victims was reported to be a woman, while the other two are reported to be men. Some of those missing are believed to be trapped in the control tower lift. Four people have been taken to hospital. The accident happened when a shift change was taking place inside the control tower, meaning there were more people inside than usual.

There is no official word at this stage on what caused the crash, but reports suggest the ship’s motors jammed as it was leaving port – rendering it uncontrollable.

“The tower collapsed and fell immediately into the sea,” said journalist Marco Fantasia, who works for Italian broadcaster Rai.

“All that remains of the collapsed tower is an outside security stair structure, which is tilted at 45 degrees,” he continued.

“This is a very large ship, a large cargo ship. It was driven by staff from Genoa, who were onboard to manoeuvre the ship. They are very experienced, so a human error is unlikely.”

2013.05.08 - Cargo Ship Jolly Nero Crashed Into Genoa Port Control Tower Figure 4

2013.05.08 - Cargo Ship Jolly Nero Crashed Into Genoa Port Control Tower Figure 2

 

 

 

UPDATE 1: 09 May 2013

Prosecutors in Genoa have placed the captain of the Jolly Nero cargo ship under investigation for alleged manslaughter after the vessel slammed into the dock at the busy port and toppled the control tower into the harbor, killing at least seven people.

Prosecutor Michele de Lecce today said the harbour pilot on the ship’s bridge at the time of the crash was also placed under investigation.

Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi told Parliament that given the ‘perfect’ weather conditions last night, possible causes of the crash could include an engine malfunction or problems with the cables between the container ship and the tugs guiding it.

The five bodies recovered included three coast guard officials in the tower at the time of the crash, a port captain and a tugboat operator, according to coast guard spokesman Cmdr. Filippo Marini who also stated that the bodies of the other two dead were being recovered, he said.

Sources: SAFETY4SEA, euronews, Maritime Connector

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