MARCH 19, 2015—Tourists from two cruise lines visiting Tunisia, were caught in the middle of an apparent terrorist attack yesterday at the National Bardo Museum in Tunis that has left at least 19 people killed, including at least nine from a group from MSC Splendida. Two of the gunmen were also killed and another four suspects have been arrested in the attacks, according to reports.
Tunisian intelligence agencies are working to uncover the motives and any terrorist links for the gunmen, including possible ties to ISIS.
In a statement, MSC Cruises said “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.”
Carnival Corporation subsidiary Costa Crociere said that three passengers from the Costa Fascinosa had been killed in the terrorist attack, two passengers were still missing and eight injured. Earlier, Costa confirmed that 13 of its passengers were still unaccounted for and did not return to its ship, the Costa Fascinosa, which left the port at 1.55 AM. Twelve Costa Care Team members and 2 Costa headquarters directors are already in Tunis to liaise with the local authorities and to ensure the appropriate assistance is granted. Three additional Care Team members will reach Tunis tomorrow morning. A total of 3,161 passengers had originally sailed on the Costa Fascinosa.
MSC Cruises confirmed that its ship MSC Splendida left the port of La Goulette, Tunis, this morning at 6 AM. The ship had 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 9 AM 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 Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago, will be arriving in Tunis in the coming hours in order to make a close assessment of the situation, meet in person as well as arrange to provide assistance to those affected by these tragic events and their relatives and consult with local authorities.