Jolly Nero Incident: Control Tower Collapse Could Have Been Avoided, Prosecutors Say

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June 12, 2013

The collapsed control tower at Genoa’s port is pictured in this handout picture provided by the Coast Guard service. Photo: Italian Coast Guard

Prosecutors in Genoa, Italy say that the port control collapse could have been avoided and they are now investigating five suspects in connection to the incident.

On May 7, the Ignazio Messina-owned Jolly Nero backed into the 50-meter tall port control tower at the port of Genoa, causing it to collapse and killing 9 people. Prosecutors say that “negligence, carelessness and inexperience” were all contributing factors to the collision and collapse of the tower.

FULL COVERAGE: Jolly Nero Incident

Under investigation is the captain of the Jolly Nero, Roberto Paoloni, First Officer Lorenzo Repetto, and pilot Antonio Anfossi, all on charges of multiple manslaughter, assault on transport safety, and collapse of the tower due to a negligent maneuver. Meanwhile, Third Officer Cristina Vaccaro is being investigated for failing to log bridge instrument issues prior to leaving port, as well Andrea Gais, who is acting chairman of the board at Ignazio Messina.

Prosecutors say that excessive speed – an estimated 3.5 knots – was too fast for the turning basin where the Jolly Nero struck the tower and the ship itself was also limited in its ability to make the turn. The prosecutor also claims that some members of the crew were negligent for failing to alert those in the tower of the impending danger.

On Wednesday, the Jolly Nero sailed from the Port of Genoa for the first time since the incident.

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