There were 10 people in the tower at the time. The Jolly Nero, of the Italian shipping line Ignazio Messina & Co, was leaving the port, assisted by tugs, and crashed into the tower at around 2300
. It was believed that the accident was caused by a mechanical failure. A major rescue operation was immediately launched involving police, fire service, the port authorities and harbour vessels.
The Italian authorities investigating the collision seized the ship’s ‘black box’.