The Vitaspirit destroys an Ottoman-era mansion and blocks Bosphorus Strait
Istanbul April 6– The Vitaspirit, a cargo ship transiting the Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait at 225 meters in length and 32 meters wide, ran against the shoreline striking a wooden Ottoman-era mansion. Fortunately, there were no reports of injuries but the maritime traffic was halted on the strait. The accident, of course, was reported by all Turkish media.
The Vitaspirit, a Maltese-flagged cargo ship built in 2001, lost control after a sudden technical failure in the rudder system.
The ship stroke the Hekimbasi Salih Efendi Yalisi, an Ottoman-era mansion bought in the 18th century, known for being Ferzan Ozpetek’s “Red Istanbul” film location. The building, used for public events like parties, weddings and concerts, was practically destroyed.
The terrible accident occurred under the Fatih Sultano Mehmet bridge, one of the three bridges on Bosphorus Strait connecting European and Asian Istanbul’s shores.
The ship was sailing to Ucraina after having left from Egypt last month. Turkish authorities closed naval traffic to tow the Vitaspirit.
The scene was filmed by many people, both from boats and the interiors of the villa. Here you are the best footage we have found on the net.
In 2017, over 42,000 commercial, military and recreational boats transited Bosphorus Strait, one among the most congested straits in the world. The last serious accident dates back to 1960, when a Yugoslavian-flagged tanker collided with a Greek ship provoking a fire which lasted two weeks.