Italian Container Ship Strikes Genoa Control Tower in Calm Sea

Italian Container Ship Strikes Genoa Control Tower in Calm Sea
The Italian container ship Jolly Nero slammed into a dock as she was exiting from the Port of Genoa late Tuesday, striking and toppling the control tower, and leaving at least six dead and others injured. Rescue workers pulled injured from the wreckage but are still searching for others who are either missing or trapped inside the tower’s submerged elevator.

The accident happened at 11:00 p.m. (2100 GMT) Tuesday night during a shift change. The ship Jolly Nero was exiting the port with the assistance of two tug boats and a port pilot. Sea conditions were calm.

According to emergency services doctor, Andrea Furgani, the critical injuries are broken bones, compression, and trauma.

Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano offered his condolences on behalf of the nation to the families of victims. The Italian Parliament held a moment of silence and the mayor of Genoa announced a period of mourning.

Jolly Nero is one of a fleet of 14 ships of the Ignazio Messina & C. SpA Italian shipping line. She is a ConRo container ship which has vehicle storage below decks but has containerized freight stacked on top. She is 239 meters in length (784 feet) and 30 meters in width (98 feet).

Genoa prosecutor Michele Di Lecce has launched an investigation into a possible malfunction of either the ship’s engine or steering mechanism.

In a statement released Wednesday by the Messina Group, the company “is at total and unconditional disposal of all competent Authorities” to identify the causes of the tragic accident. The company reiterated that this occurred during “usual operations of exit” and that Messina Line ships “execute with regular frequency” in the Port of Genoa assisted by tug boats and a pilot on board.

The Messina Group was founded in 1921 and its headquarters are in Genoa. It has been providing sea transportation between Southern Europe and countries in Meditterranean basin, Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian Sub-Continent. According to company officials, this is the first time any accident like this has happened.

The Port of Genoa is Italy’s busiest port for cargo handling. The Messina Terminal covers over a 253,000 square mile area with 11,000 covered warehouses. It operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Its marine and vehicle workshops cover a 10,000 square mile area and offer the latest in technical and maintenance assistance for their vessels and related equipment. The shipyard is registered in the Shipyards’ Register.

Written by: Cynthia Collins, Guardian Correspondent

Source: Google News
Source: Messina Line Italy

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