Calls to restrict cruise ships in Venice follow canal crash


A cruise ship passes by St. Mark’s Square filled with tourists, in Venice, Italy, Sunday, June 2, 2019. Groups that want to ban cruise ships on Venice’s busy canals say a collision that injured four tourists has served as a wake-up call. Opponents say cruise ships are out-of-scale for Venice, cause pollution, threaten the lagoon’s ecosystem and dangerous. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

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MILAN (AP) — Cruise industry officials have long insisted ship accidents wouldn’t happen in Venice’s busy Giudecca Canal. They said guiding tugboats and technology would ensure safety.

The 65,500-ton cruise ship that crashed into a much smaller riverboat docked in the canal on Sunday proved them wrong.

Italy’s transport minister ordered the head of the Venice port to Rome on Monday to discuss the accident. Venice’s mayor called for a ban on cruise ships traversing the heart of the fragile lagoon city.

Venice is one of the world’s top ports of call for cruise ships and one of Italy’s most heavily visited cities. Debate over the behemoth boats has raged for years.

Videos of the crash show the MSC Opera cruise ship blaring its horn as it bore down on the riverboat.

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