Seven dead and two missing as cargo ship slams into Genoa Port

  • Ship’s captain under investigation for alleged manslaughter

Nine people are feared after a container ship crashed into the control tower at the Italian Port of Genoa on Tuesday night.

The 200-metre long Jolly Nero slammed into the dock at around 11pm local time as it left the port for Sicily, causing the collapse of the 50-metre high structure into the harbour below.

So far, seven bodies have been recovered from the wreckage, including a pilot and two coast guards, while rescue teams were continuing their search for two missing people on Wednesday night. Four people are currently being treated in a local hospital following the incident.

According to Lloyd’s Loading List, as many as 14 people were in the control tower, located at the entrance to the Old Port, when the accident happened. A number of people were thrown into the water and others became trapped under the rubble.

Walter Cotugno, the captain of the stricken vessel, has been placed in custody under suspicion of manslaughter. However, local media are reporting the possibility of a mechanical malfunction that left the captain unable to steer the 40,594-tonne vessel. The container ship has since been impounded.

The Port of Genoa is the busiest port in Italy by cargo tonnage, and the second largest in the county in terms of container volumes after the transhipment Port of Gioia Tauro.

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