MSC Cruises, Costa Group Officials In Tunis After Deadly Museum Attack
Both the MSC Spendida and Costa Fascinosa (pictured above) have left the port of Tunis in the aftermath of one of the deadliest tourist-related attacks in history.
MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises were both in Tunis as part of regularly-scheduled port calls Wednesday when news broke of an alleged terrorist attack at the Banco National Museum in Tunis. CNN International is now reporting that ISIS has taken responsibilty for the attack.
After a frantic few hours of accounting for passengers that were on an excursion to the museum, both cruise lines have reported tragic losses in the attack.
Costa Cruises left the port at 1:55 a.m. European Central Time with 13 passengers still unaccounted for, but still hopeful that they would find every passenger safe.
This morning, Costa Group CEO Michael Thamm took to Twitter this morning with tragic news:
Update: Statement by Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Group pic.twitter.com/XQqlu68WaL— Costa Cruises (@CostaCruises) March 19, 2015
MSC Cruises released this statement at 11 am EST, with some good news on missing passengers:
MSC Cruises' Statement: Last two missing MSC Splendida guests accounted for safe and sound: http://t.co/nBRePTpiFR— MSC Cruises (USA) (@MSCCruisesUSA) March 19, 2015
The full statement:
MSC Cruises reports that the remaining two guests who had been missing following the tragic events of yesterday in Tunis were found safe and sound. The two Spanish citizens, Cristina Rubio Benlloch and Juan Carlos Sanchez Oltra, a young couple traveling on board MSC Splendida, had spent the night in hiding at the Bardo National Museum. The woman, who is pregnant, was immediately taken in observation to the hospital. Both her and the child are reported well.
"Following the news that the young Spanish couple are safely accounted for, MSC Cruises sadly confirms that, based on the information available as of today, 12 MSC Cruises guests are dead (nationalities: 2 Colombians, 3 French, 3 Japanese, 2 Spanish, 1 British and 1 Belgian) and 13 are injured (nationalities: 1 Belgian, 7 French, 4 Japanese and 1 South African), of which two are in serious conditions.
"Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, while in Tunis today to meet the injured and their families to ensure that they are receiving all the necessary assistance, met the Tunisian Minister of Tourism, Ms. Salma Elloumi Rekik. At the meeting, the Minister confirmed that, in conjunction with yesterday’s tragic events, a total of 20 people died, seven of whom have yet to be identified."
The Cruise Lines International Association issued a statement on their Facebook page related to the attack.
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