Cruiseliner runs aground in Venice

A 655-foot cruise ship ran aground near St Mark’s Square in Venice amid thick fog today, leading to concerns about safety in the waterway.

A 655-foot cruise ship ran aground near St Mark’s Square in Venice amid thick fog today, leading to concerns about safety in the waterway.

None of the 1,000 passengers and crew on the Mona Lisa were hurt, city officials said.

However, Venice’s mayor took the opportunity to complain about such large ships travelling so close to the historic centre.

“My concerns about the danger of large ships passing the St Mark’s Basin … are unfortunately confirmed,” Mayor Paolo Costa said in a statement.

“Today, disastrous and unimaginable consequences were fortunately avoided. But it’s obvious that steps need to be taken to eliminate the danger of a ship ending up in St Mark’s Square.”

Costa suggested that such ships should not be allowed to cross St Mark’s Basin, which is near the famed square.

Instead, they should be anchored farther out, such as near the Lido island off the coast of the city centre.

The ANSA news agency said most of the passengers were Dutch, and the AGI news agency said the ship was travelling with the Bahamas flag.

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