Tragedy strikes Red Sea cruise
Three British cruise passengers were injured and three members of crew were killed when a ship sailing the Red Sea crashed into a pier.
The Costa Cruises vessel hit the pier in the popular Red Sea holiday resort of Sharm el Sheikh during unexpectedly high winds.
It is the second fatal accident involving holidaymakers in Egypt this year. In January a British teacher was killed when a sailing boat capsized on the Nile during a storm. Luke Day drowned after freeing his wife and two other passengers from the overturned felucca.
Three passengers - all believed to be women - and one crew member from the Costa Europa were taken to a hospital in Sharm el Sheikh where they were treated for their injuries. All remaining 1,437 passengers have been evacuated from the ship and put up in local hotels.
The Costa Europa had been on an 18-day cruise from Dubai to Savona in Italy. The remainder of the cruise has been cancelled and arrangements are being made for all passengers to be flown home.
The ship, whose right side was damaged in the smash, will join Thomson Cruises in April, when it will be renamed Thomson Dream.
Freak weather has also led to other tragedies in the past few days. A British tourist was among 42 killed during a violent storm on the holiday island of Madeira last week. Up to five other British tourists were treated in hospital.
At least 50 people have been killed this week in storms that swept across parts of France, Germany and Spain. Most of the victims were in France, where hurricane-force winds caused extensive flooding on the Atlantic coast.
Ski resorts in the French Pyrenees also took a battering. One of the largest, Bagneres de Luchon, had to be evacuated.