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Witnesses Flee As Cruise Ship Rams Dock And Tourist Boat

A cruise ship has rammed into a parked tourist boat as it docked in Venice, Italian media reports say.

The ship, which dwarfed the other vessel, crashed as it came into the San Basilio cruise terminal in the popular lagoon city on Sunday, according to La Repubblica newspaper.

In this photo released by the Italian Firefighters, the MSC Opera cruise liner, a towering cruise ship, strikes a tourist riverboat. PHOTO: Vigili del Fuoco via AP

Dramatic footage of the collision appeared to show some people falling into the water as the smaller boat was hit.

The larger ship, with the name "Msc Opera" on the side, loudly blasted its horn as it approached while passersby ran away.

Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro confirmed on Twitter that a ship had rammed into the dock.

The Corriere della Sera newspaper said that four of the smaller boat's passengers sustained light injuries.

PHOTO: Vigili del Fuoco via AP

The accident took place on the Giudecca canal in the centre of Venice, where there has been long-running debate over access to cruise ships on the city's iconic but increasingly overcrowded waterways.

A view of the damaged harbour quay. PHOTO: Vigili del Fuoco via AP

Critics have called for a complete ban on cruise ships.

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