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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gangway Collapses, Killing 13

PARIS -- What was planned as a day of celebration turned to tragedy Saturday when a gangway with about 50 relatives and friends of workmen on the Queen Mary 2 collapsed, killing at least 13 people. At least 32 people were injured, police and fire officials said. Early reports said several children were among the dead, but officials said later that was not confirmed.

The accident occurred at dockside in the sprawling shipyards in St.-Nazaire in western France, where workmen have been putting the finishing touches on the 343-meter Queen Mary 2, the largest and costliest ship ever built. The deputy prefect of St.-Nazaire, Jean-Marc Falcone, said the gangway had been installed on Friday especially for the weekend visits. The liner is being constructed for $800 million by the French shipbuilder Alstom Marine for the Cunard Line, now a unit of the Carnival Corp.

The vast liner, which will carry up to 2,620 passengers in considerable luxury on its first Atlantic crossing in January from Southampton, England, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was open this weekend for visits by families of the thousands of workmen from at least 800 companies, who have been installing cabins, swimming pools, a spa, a planetarium and restaurants. It remained unclear how the gangway came loose at least 9 meters above the dockside.