A massive international cruise ship crashed into a Venice dock, ramming into a tourist riverboat and injuring four people on Sunday morning. Dozens of bystanders ran for safety with one witness saying it looked like a "scene from a disaster movie," according to a CNN report.
The MSC Opera crashed into the dock of the Giudecca canal around 8:30 a.m, hitting the River Countess, a much smaller tourist boat docked there. The cruise ship, which apparently suffered a mechanical issue as it was about to dock and was unable to stop, loudly blared its horn to warn bystanders of the impending crash.
Medical services reported that four female tourists, including an American, a New Zealander and two Australians, ages 67-72, were lightly injured due to falling while trying to flee the scene.
The MSC Opera, a luxury cruise ship which had 2,679-passengers onboard is 177-ft high and 902-ft long.
MSC Cruises, the cruise ship's operator released a statement, saying that the ship "experienced a technical issue" while approaching the terminal. "Investigations to understand the exact causes of the events are currently in progress."
The Giudecca canal is one of the busiest canals in Venice and draws millions of tourist yearly. The accident has renewed calls in Venice for large ships to be banned from the Giudecca canal, a long-standing issue in the city. Venetian government ministers released statements resolving to ban cruise ships once and for all.
The waves caused by large cruise ships on the canal erode Venice's foundation, causing frequent flooding. In 2013, Venice banned ships over a certain weight from the Giudecca canal but the law was later revoked.