CRIME

Cruise Ship Crashes Into Wall, Smashes Hole In Bow, Traps Hundreds Of Passengers Onboard

06/19/2015 02:01 pm ET | Updated Jun 19, 2015
reivax/Flickr

A cruise ship crashed into a wall in a lock on the St. Lawrence Seaway in upstate New York Thursday night, injuring 30 people on the ship and blowing a hole in its bow, according to authorities.

The U.S. Coast Guard says the 286-foot Saint Laurent was headed from Montreal to Toronto when it hit a wall in the Eisenhower Lock in Massena, New York, near the Canadian border, around 9:45 p.m. Thursday. There were 273 passengers and crew aboard, most of them French or Swiss nationals, the Associated Press reports.

"When the ship hit the lock, it suffered a hole in its bow and water started coming in," Coast Guard spokeswoman Lauren Laughlin told The Huffington Post.

Lock workers lowered the level of the water below the hole, Laughlin went on, so "the ship is still floating but it's not flooding."

Rescue workers took 30 injured passengers and crew off the ship, according to Laughlin. Twenty-eight of them were treated for their injuries and returned to the ship. Two people are still being treated for serious injuries.

Marine inspectors and salvage inspectors are currently aboard the ship assessing the damage and working out a salvage plan. Because the ship and the lock are on different levels, passengers can't just walk off the ship, Laughlin said. They may have to clamber down ladders to escape, or be lifted off by cranes.

Laughlin said the passengers trapped on the ship are probably comfortable where they are. "They have all the amenities, they have food, they have water, they have air conditioning," she said. "The power is on, they're just not driving."

In a statement early Friday morning, the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, the U.S. government-owned corporation that manages the lock, said that "the ship is stable and no pollution is reported." According to the SLSDC, the ship is holding up seven commercial vessels waiting to pass through the lock.

The Saint Laurent is owned by International Shipping Partners, and the crash remains under investigation.

The Associated Press contributed reporting.

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