Video of fatal gondola crash released

A video of the collision on Venice's Grand Canal which killed a German tourist in August was made public on Thursday, as prosecutors continue to determine how the accident happened and who is responsible.

Video of fatal gondola crash released
A screenshot of the video, published online by Corriere del Veneto

50-year-old Joachim Vogel, a German professor, was crushed by a reversing waterbus which bumped into the gondola he was riding with his family on August 17th, near the city's famous Rialto Bridge. His wife, three children and the gondolier were also thrown into the water, with his three-year-old daughter suffering head injuries.

Roberto Terzo, the crown prosecutor leading the investigation, made the video public as authorities continue to examine the causes of the collision. In the video, the crash can be seen in the upper portion of the screen, followed by rescue attempts.

Five people are currently being investigated: three waterbus drivers and two gondoliers, including the driver of the family's gondola, who tested positive for drugs after the incident.

Following the tragedy, new rules were imposed on water traffic, restricting the number of ferries allowed on the Canal and requiring gondolas to improve visibility by fitting number plates and reflectors, as well as tougher drug and alcohol regulation for gondoliers.

Watch the video here: 

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Italy to pay €57m compensation over Venice cruise ship ban

The Italian government announced on Friday it would pay 57.5 million euros in compensation to cruise companies affected by the decision to ban large ships from Venice's fragile lagoon.

A cruise ship in St Mark's Basin, Venice.
The decision to limit cruise ship access to the Venice lagoon has come at a cost. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

The new rules, which took effect in August, followed years of warnings that the giant floating hotels risked causing irreparable damage to the lagoon city, a UNESCO world heritage site.

READ ALSO: Venice bans large cruise ships from centre after Unesco threat of ‘endangered’ status

Some 30 million euros has been allocated for 2021 for shipping companies who incurred costs in “rescheduling routes and refunding passengers who cancelled trips”, the infrastructure ministry said in a statement.

A further 27.5 million euros – five million this year and the rest in 2022 – was allocated for the terminal operator and related companies, it said.

The decision to ban large cruise ships from the centre of Venice in July came just days before a meeting of the UN’s cultural organisation Unesco, which had proposed adding Venice to a list of endangered heritage sites over inaction on cruise ships.

READ ALSO: Is Venice really banning cruise ships from its lagoon?

Under the government’s plan, cruise ships will not be banned from Venice altogether but the biggest vessels will no longer be able to pass through St Mark’s Basin, St Mark’s Canal or the Giudecca Canal. Instead, they’ll be diverted to the industrial port at Marghera.

But critics of the plan point out that Marghera – which is on the mainland, as opposed to the passenger terminal located in the islands – is still within the Venice lagoon.

Some aspects of the plan remain unclear, as infrastructure at Marghera is still being built. Meanwhile, smaller cruise liners are still allowed through St Mark’s and the Giudecca canals.

Cruise ships provide a huge economic boost to Venice, but activists and residents say the ships contribute to problems caused by ‘overtourism’ and cause large waves that undermine the city’s foundations and harm the fragile ecosystem of its lagoon.