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Three killed in cruise ship crash

Costa Europa hits pier in strong winds at Egyptian resort

A luxury cruise ship smashed into a pier in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh amid high waves yesterday, killing three crew and injuring four people, three of them tourists, the cruise company said.

Costa Cruises said the 54,763 tonne Costa Europa slammed into the pier while docking at the resort.

"We sadly have to confirm the decease of three crew members," the statement said.

"Three passengers and one crew needed to visit a local hospital. The ship is now safely docked in port."

The statement did not mention the nationalities of the crew members or the passengers.

Officials from the General Authority for Red Sea Ports said the sailors were an Indian, a Honduran and a Brazilian, who died from the impact.

They said four tourists were injured, three British women and an Italian man. It was not immediately clear whether one of those four was the crew member the company referred to in its statement.

Officials said the ship had hit the pier amid strong winds, causing a breach in the hull that allowed water into one of the cabins drowning the three crew men.

Costa Cruises said 1,437 passengers were on board the ship and were put up in hotels while the company arranged to fly them home.

A website advertising trips on the Costa Europa offers 19-day tours, stopping at Dubai, Aden and several places in Egypt.

The 24-year-old ship was due to be chartered to the British travel operator Thomson Holidays for a decade in April.

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