Five people have been taken to hospital after a ferry crash on the holiday island of Gran Canaria.

The ferry crashed into a pier after suffering a technical fault that caused a power cut lasting just two minutes, according to operating company Naviera Armas.

Video footage showed the ship - which was heading towards the neighbouring island of Tenerife with 140 passengers, 30 crew members and dozens of vehicles on board - adrift and at the mercy of the sea before it hit the concrete wall at the entrance to Luz Port in the Gran Canaria capital Las Palmas.

Five people were taken to hospital including one man who suffered a broken collarbone after falling to the ground during the collision, and another five received medical attention at the scene.


Most of those affected, who included a pregnant woman, suffered panic attacks. None were seriously injured.

It is thought some British holidaymakers were on board the vessel at the time, although the exact number is not known.

The incident, involving a car ferry called the Volcan de Tamasite which regularly covers the two-and-a-half-long route between the two islands, happened just before 8.30 on Friday.

The ferry lost power as it was leaving port and crew attempts to stop the collision by getting the engines restarted and throwing down anchors failed.

The damaged port wall came down on two vehicles belonging to oil firm Onyx which were refuelling a nearby ship, causing an oil spill which last night/on Friday night led to an environmental emergency being declared.

Work to repair the damaged port wall at Las Palmas is expected to take four months.
Work to repair the damaged port wall at Las Palmas is expected to take four months.

Up to 200,000 litres of fuel was initially feared to have spilled, although port authority sources said they believed the situation could be brought under control without major environmental consequences because of sea currents.

Coastguards vessels were sent to inspect the scene on Friday night.

A police investigation was underway last night in conjunction with a separate investigation by the ferry's owner Naviera Armas.


Footage taken from inside the damaged vessel after the collision - and posted on social media - showed furious passengers arguing with crew who were trying to calm them down.

An Italian man could be overheard yelling about the lack of information while a Spaniard insisted: "We want to get off" as he told a female crew member surrounded by angry passengers that there were children on board.

The passengers began to leave the ship around 10pm and many were put up in hotels overnight.

Passenger Gabriel Velazquez said afterwards: "People were very nervous when they felt a loud bang and then things got out of hand because no-one really knew what was happening."

Passengers argued with crew following the incident.
Passengers argued with crew following the incident.

Another added: "There were people on the floor. One of the women working in the cafe ended up trapped when something fell on her and had to be helped out."

Work to repair the damaged 30-foot wall is expected to last around four months and cost millions of pounds.

The ferry returned to the port after the incident with the help of two salvage tugs although its engines restarted after the spectacular collision.

Naviera Armas boasts on its website of being the most important shipping company in the Canary Islands.

It was established in 1941 and has used more than 50 vessels over the years.

It operates around half a dozen vessels named after volcanoes in the Canary Islands.

Volcan de Tamasite, the one involved in Friday's accident, can carry 1,500 passengers and 300 vehicles and operates at 23 knots.

It was put into service 13 years ago.