MSC Cruises this morning informed Cruise Arabia & Africa that a South African passenger is among the 12 people wounded in the terror attacks at the National Bardo Museum in Tunisia on Wednesday, with nine people confirmed as dead.
“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,” the cruise line said in a statement Thursday morning.
The 12 injured passengers are reportedly being treated in hospitals in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, while a further six passengers from the ship remain missing. MSC Cruises is working closely with local security officials to find them.
The missing passengers include two Spanish nationals, one Belgian, one British, one French and one Japanese, while of the passengers killed three were of Japanese nationality, two French, two Spanish and two were Colombian.
MSC Cruises have confirmed that a South African passenger is among the wounded, along with three Japanese nationals, one Belgian and seven French nationals.
The terrorist attack, which has sent shockwaves through the global cruise industry and prompted one of the largest security lockdowns in MSC Cruises’ history, occurred on Wednesday during a port call by MSC Splendida to the port of La Goulette in Tunis.
As it is the case every time the cruise ship calls at Tunis, a shore excursion offered MSC Cruises’ guests the opportunity to visit the famous Bardo National Museum, a group of MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises passengers were at the museum at the time the attack occurred.
Two gunmen reportedly stormed the museum and opened fire on the passengers and cruise line staff. Security officials have said it is likely the attack was not random and that the tourists, 17 of whom in total were killed, were deliberately targeted.
Although official announcement were still coming in at the time of writing, it is likely that all major cruise lines will temporarily suspend all port calls to Tunisia as the security situation in the country is reviewed.