The MSC Opera  smashed into a dock located on the Giudecca canal in Venice this morning. Tugs could not maintain control of the MSC cruise ship as it violently struck the dock and then struck the stern of the River Countess (a river cruise ship) which was docked and disembarking passengers, as shown in a number of videos taken of the accident.

You can hear the MSC Opera blasting its horn while it strikes the dock and smaller vessel. Tourists are seen initially running away from the cruise ship.  Four tourists  were reportedly injured in the incident.  People reportedly fell from the gangway to the River Countess into the water in the incident.

This is not the first time that a MSC cruise ship struck a pier in Venice. In April of 2014, the MSC cruise ship, Preziosa, collided with a large passenger walkway at the port of Venice. Newspapers in Italy, such as La Nuova, covered the damage to the pedestrian corridor (called a “finger”) at the maritime station which provide access to the upper decks of the cruise ships.

The latest incident reportedly occurred after the MSC Opera lost engine power and a line from a tug broke.

This incident will add to the debate whether gigantic cruise ships should be permitted to sail in the basin so close to the beautiful buildings of the old city.

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Screen grab and video credits: Beppe Caccia via Iain Reid Twitter page.

Update: A passenger on the MSC Opera videotaped the incident (below). Credit Adrian Lauretti (YouTube).