Amazing Footage of Gran Canaria Ferry Crash
Five people have been taken to hospital after a spectacular ferry crash on the holiday island of Gran Canaria.
The car ferry smashed into a port wall after engine failure.
Video footage showed the ship – which was heading towards the neighbouring island of Tenerife with 140 passengers, 30 crew members and dozens of vehicles on board – adrift and at the mercy of the sea before it hit the concrete wall at the entrance to Luz Port in the Gran Canaria capital Las Palmas.
Five people were taken to hospital including one man who suffered a broken collarbone after falling to the ground during the collision, and another five received medical attention at the scene.
Most of those affected, who included a pregnant woman, suffered panic attacks. None were seriously injured.
It is thought some British holidaymakers were on board the vessel at the time, although the exact number is not known.
The incident, involving a car ferry called the Volcan de Tamasite which regularly covers the two-and-a-half-long route between the two islands, happened just before 8.30 on Friday.
The ferry lost power as it was leaving port and crew attempts to stop the collision by getting the engines restarted and throwing down anchors failed.
The damaged port wall came down on two vehicles belonging to oil firm Onyx which were refuelling a nearby ship, causing an oil spill which last night/on Friday night led to an environmental emergency being declared.
Up to 200,000 litres of fuel was initially feared to have spilled, although port authority sources said they believed the situation could be brought under control without major environmental consequences because of sea currents.
Coastguards vessels were sent to inspect the scene on Friday night.
A police investigation was underway last night in conjunction with a separate investigation by the ferry’s owner Naviera Armas.
The accident happened as the ship brought passengers back from a day trip to the nearby island of La Gomera.
In February 2013 five crew menbers were killed, and another three injured, after a lifeboat fell into the sea from a cruise ship tied up at the port of Santa Cruz de la Palma in the Canary Islands.
The accident happened on the Majesty, operated by UK-based Thomson Cruises, during a routine safety drill.
The bow of the ferry involved in yesterday evening’s/Friday evening’s accident hit the port wall.
Work to repair the damaged 30-foot wall is expected to last around four months and cost millions of pounds.
The damaged ferry returned to the port after the incident with the help of two salvage tugs although its engines restarted after the spectacular collision.
Naviera Armas boasts on its website of being the most important shipping company in the Canary Islands.
It was established in 1941 and has used more than 50 vessels over the years.
It operates around half a dozen vessels named after volcanoes in the Canary Islands.
Volcan de Tamasite, the one involved in Friday’s accident, can carry 1,500 passengers and 300 vehicles and operates at 23 knots.
It was put into service 13 years ago.