5 dead, 3 injured as lifeboat falls from cruise ship

Accident happened in Spain's Canary Islands

A lifeboat from a cruise ship fell into the sea at port in Spain's Canary Islands, killing five people and injuring three others Sunday, officials said.

Thomson Cruises, a British company, issued a statement after the incident, saying it "is aware of an incident involving the ship's crew on board Thomson Majesty, in La Palma, Canary Islands this afternoon."

"We are working closely with the ship owners and managers, Louis Cruises, to determine exactly what has happened and provide assistance to those affected by the incident," the statement added.

A regional government statement said rescue personnel were called to the dockside at 1205 GMT (7:05 a.m. EST) after "a lifeboat with occupants had fallen overboard from a cruise ship docked at the pier of Santa Cruz port in La Palma." Spanish national broadcaster RTVE said an emergency training drill was taking place at the time of the accident.

A reporter at the dockside said all of those in the lifeboat at the time of the accident were crew members. Television images showed a small, white two-hulled lifeboat capsized beside the ship. It was not immediately clear if there were any other people in the lifeboat when it crashed into the sea, or whether the Thomson Majesty ship had any passengers on it.

The nationality or sex of those who died was not known, the statement said, adding that the injured were all men, two aged 30 and another, a Greek national, was 32 years old. The injuries weren't considered to be life-threatening.

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