October 31st, 2018. Disaster in the port of Barcelona. The Italian passenger vessel Excellent, operated by Italian company Grandi Navi Veloci along the Genoa-Barcelona-Tangeri route, crashes into the dock; the event is caught on camera and the following pictures show us the terrible accident.
As you can see in the pictures below, weather conditions were really bad; wind, indeed, blew strongly even within the port basin. After having aborted her docking maneuver, Excellent was heading for the mouth of the channel, waiting to exit.
But something got wrong.
A mistake in the wheelhouse, combined with strong wind, made the vessel bow crash against a pier violently. Unfortunately, the latter was a container terminal pier used by the numerous commercial ships that generally crowd the port.
As a result, the collision did not involve only the cement structure of the dock. Because of the impact angle and the ship height, the protruding bow of the Excellent hit also the group of cranes on the quay, initiating a disastrous chain reaction.
Because of inertia and the speed of the vessel, the crane structure, literally harpooned to the bow, collapsed, causing all dock workers to flee.
Pictures show an incredible situation but there’s much.
On the other aside of the dock, indeed, 6 containers containing flammable products were temporarily stored there waiting to reach their destination. The crane collapsed on their top. The combination of sparks caused by the friction of metals and fuel caused a spectacular explosion which resulted into a fire.
Fire was extinguished by city fire engine while the ferry was taken under control and berthed without problems. Fortunately, the accident caused no victims or injured.
We remember that, last January, another ship operated by GVN, the Fantastic, had caused collision in the same port, involving another vessel berthed on the quay. This accident, too, was caught on camera (see the video).
This type of accidents often provoke unpredictable implications when big ships are involved. It is enough to mention the tragic accident that involved the vessel Jolly Nero that, in 2013, crashed into the port control tower in Genoa, provoking 9 victims.
While it is impossible to guarantee total safety in risky environments ( ports are certainly part of this group), it is however possible to foresee possible implications. These events, in fact, are exactly those that risk to cause huge damage, always difficult to imagine. However, I would add that tall facilities, positioned just close to docks in highly crowded ports, are not part (considering the experiences we have just reported and seen) of the cases exclusively attributable to misfortune.
Below, the accident is shot from different angles, from which the fire is clearly visible.