MSC Cruises has confirmed that at least nine of its passengers are believed to be among the 21 people killed in a terrorist attack at a museum in Tunis, Tunisia on Wednesday.
The attack occurred Wednesday afternoon at the Bardo National Museum, Tunisia’s largest museum. Two gunmen were killed by security forces and four others have been arrested, according to reports.
In a stream of updates on its website, MSC Cruises commented: “Based on the communication made by official authorities, MSC Cruises, its ownership and entire management team report with profound sadness that at the time of this announcement nine of its guests are reported to have lost their lives, 12 were injured, and six (two Spanish nationals, one Belgian, one British, one French and one Japanese) are still unaccounted for in conjunction with the tragic event at the Bardo Museum. However, these numbers are still subject to modification whilst official identification is on-going.”
At the time of the shootings, some of the guests onboard the MSC Splendida were on shore excursions, including to the Bardo National Museum, as the ship was calling at the port of La Goulette, Tunis with 3,714 guests and 1,267 crew members aboard. The ship arrived March 18 for its weekly call performed during the season from December 17, 2014 to April 15, 2015, MSC Cruises said.
The Costa cruise ship, Costa Fascinosa, was also in port at Tunis at the time of the attack.
The MSC Splendida has since departed the port of La Goulete, Tunis as of 6 a.m. Thursday.
“MSC Splendida received the authorization from the relevant authorities to leave the port of La Goulette and is heading, as originally scheduled, to Barcelona where it is currently expected to arrive at 9AM on Friday, March 20.
“MSC Cruises is present on site with its crises team in order to continue to provide key assistance on the ground to MSC Splendida’s guests who were involved in the tragic events and needing assistance,” MSC Cruises said.
MSC Cruises said its Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago, was expectef to arrive in Tunis yesterday in order to make a close assessment of the situation, meet in person as well as arrange to provide assistance to those affected by the tragic events and their relatives and consult with local authorities.
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