08/05/2013 09:37 BST | Updated 08/05/2013 10:28 BST

Genoa Ship Jolly Nero Crashes Into Cargo Tower, Death Toll Rises

At least seven bodies have been pulled from the wreckage after a cargo ship crashed into the port in Genoa, Italy, toppling part of the control tower into the water.

Italy based correspondents for the Telegraph and the BBC have confirmed the latest figure.

One of the victims was thought to be a woman in her 30s, while at least two others are reported to be men.

genoa jolly nero

Rescue and emergency crews at the scene of the accident

Luca Cari, a spokesman for firefighters at the scene told the Associated Press a fifth body had been found near the tower’s submerged elevator.

Four others were hospitalised and several others are still missing.

LaPresse said the ship was the Jolly Nero and was almost 240 metres (787 ft) long and weighed 40,500 tonnes. It is owned by the Italian firm Ignazio Messina & Co. According to its website, the Messina Line has a fleet of 14 cargo ships.

The accident happened around 23:00 on Tuesday night, when a shift change was taking place inside the control tower, meaning there were more people inside than usual. The ship's owner, Stefano Messina, arrived at the port soon after the crash.

cargo ship crash

The collision toppled the control tower

He told journalists: "We are all utterly shocked. Nothing like this has ever happened before, we are desperate," reported the BBC.

The cause of the crash is not yet clear, but will be investigated by Genoa's prosecutor, Corriere Della Sera said, adding that the captain was being questioned.

Luigi Merlo, the president of the Genoa port authority told the Associated Press: "This event is unbelievable because we had the best weather navigation conditions."

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