At least four people have been killed in a sea collision off the Italian coast. Scores more have been injured. At least seven are in a critical condition. The accident happened when a cargo ship hit a passenger hydrofoil, in the Straits of Messina, between mainland Italy and Sicily. There were around 130 passengers on the hydrofoil, when it set out at rush hour – about five thirty in the afternoon – from the city of Reggio Calabria in Italy.
The journey was a regular commuter run to Messina in Sicily. Most of the passengers were returning home from university or work. The four people killed were reportedly crew members of the hydrofoil. Two had been trapped in the twisted metal framework of the wreck.
Port officials said the container ship was flying the flag of Antigua. The Italian Transport Minister has ordered an inquiry. It is still unclear what caused the incident. But some are blaming human error. Colleagues of the victims said staff on hydrofoils are overworked, because of recent job cuts.