9 May 2013

Deaths after ship crashes into tower

6:00 am on 9 May 2013

At least four people have died and several more are missing after a container ship crashed into a control tower in the Italian port of Genoa.

The Jolly Nero smashed into the concrete and glass tower on Tuesday night, reducing it to rubble.

Three people were reported to have been trapped inside a lift that fell into the water as the tower collapsed.

Rescue workers have been searching in the rubble for survivors while divers scoured the water around the dock, the BBC reports.

The accident occurred about 11pm (local time) when a shift change was taking place in the control tower and as many as 14 people were inside.

The ship was manoeuvring out of the port with the help of tugboats in calm conditions, on its way to Naples, reports said.

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear, but Genoa's Il Secolo XIX newspaper quoted the Jolly Nero's captain as saying that two engines appeared to have failed and "we lost control of the ship".

The head of the Genoa Port Authority, Luigi Merlo, told the paper: "It's very difficult to explain how this could have happened because the ship should not have been where it was."