A German Tourist was fatally crushed in a Gondola collision with a water ferry, or “vaporetto” in Venice today.
The 50-year old man, who had been travelling with his wife and 3 children in a gondola ride on the well-known Grand Canal, died after being crushed to death between the two containers, as his wife and children were forcibly thrown into the water.
A 3-year old girl, said to be the man’s daughter, has been taken to hospital with severe head injuries.
At first it was believed that the entire family had fallen into the canal when the vessels ran into each other near to the Rialto Bridge – the oldest and most popular in Venice – at some time around midday. But it was later established by a police official that it was the ferry, as it was coming to settle into the dock, which had collided with the gondola that carried the family holidaying from Germany.
There has been growing concern over issues relating to congestion of the world-famous waterways of Venice and this tragic incident has now become the harbinger for its resolution.
Giorgio Orsoni, the mayor of Venice, has uttered his condolences, adding that this now calls for the problem of congestion to be finally and properly addressed. In the mean time, police and rescue services have been examining the area where the accident occurred and an investigation has been launched.
As a mark of respect, some of the Venetian gondoliers stopped working, in a bid to to mourn the tragic loss of a life at what is known to be one of the most romantic cities in the world.
Whilst the classic gondolas have always been known to travel along the waterways, it is the private vessels and the vaporettos, employed to shuttle travellers to local hotels, that are being blamed for the growing congestion on the canal.
Written by: Brucella Newman