QM2 Accident Claims 15 Lives

Monday, November 17, 2003
French prosecutors have begun investigating Saturday’s shipyard accident on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 that has left 15 dead and at least 32 injured after a gangway collapsed in Saint Nazaire in France. It is said that an inquiry will examine the cause of the gangway that collapsed when families of the ship workers were visiting the vessel. The collapse of the walkway caused victims to fall some 80 feet to the concrete of the drydock. Reports are indicating that the temporary 30-ft. walkway connecting the quayside of the ship was constructed by the French firm, Endel. The Queen Mary 2, which is slated to be delivered to Cunard next month, is in the final stages of construction. The cruise ship has been under construction at the Alstom-owned Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard since 2002. The ship, which will be officially launched in January, will be the largest and most expensive ship ever built. In response to the accident, Cunard’s President and Chief Operating Officer Pamela Conover said: “On behalf of all of us at Cunard, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families of those who were killed or injured in this tragic accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with their friends and relatives at this time of sorrow.”

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