Most of the passengers off the Cypriot cruise ship 'Sounion', sunk in Beirut harbour in Lebanon on Saturday (March 3) after an explosion, arrived in Nicosia, Cyprus, on Sunday (March 4) on board two chartered aircraft.
LV Aircraft taxies in.
CU LV Ambulance and crew stand by. (2 shots)
SV Passengers from crippled ship out of aircraft. (one woman in dressing gown)
LV CU Others out of aircraft - some receiving assistance. (2 shots)
SV CU Passengers walk across tarmac - one woman barefoot. (2 shots)
LV Passengers walk across tarmac and boarding bus. (2 shots)
CU Woman in dressing gown and slippers boards bus.
SV More passengers off aircraft.
Initials GD/VS 23.30 GD/VS 23.47
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Most of the passengers off the Cypriot cruise ship 'Sounion', sunk in Beirut harbour in Lebanon on Saturday (March 3) after an explosion, arrived in Nicosia, Cyprus, on Sunday (March 4) on board two chartered aircraft. Several of them were dressed in their nightwear.
The ship, carrying 254 passengers, mostly from the United States, settled on the harbour bottom shortly after an explosion tore a hole in the stern. All the passengers and 79 Greek crewmen were safely evacuated. Port officials and a ship's agent said the explosion took place in the engine room, and they discounted unconfirmed newspaper reports that it was caused by sabotage.
The vessel began a regular cruise from Cyprus to Israel two weeks ago, calling in at Turkey and Beirut. It was one of very few ships calling at both Arab and Israeli ports. Most of its passengers were middle-aged Baptists on a pilgrimage to Israel. Two elderly passengers were taken to a hospital in Beirut to recover from fatigue and strain, and the rest were lodged in hotels for the night before their Sunday flight to Cyprus. Some were expected to return to the United States by air, and others were scheduled to fly on to Tel Aviv, in Israel , by chartered aircraft.
SYNOPSIS: Passengers off the Cypriot ship 'Sounion', sunk in Beirut harbour in Lebanon on Saturday night after an explosion, arrived back in Cyprus by air on Sunday. The ship, with two-hundred-and-fifty-four passengers -- all but five from the United States -- was on its way to Haifa, in israel. It began a regular run there two weeks ago -- one of very few ships scheduled to call at both Arab and Israeli ports.
Most of the passengers were middle-aged Baptists on a pilgrimage to Israel. All the passengers, and the seventy-nine Greek crewmen, were evacuated safely as the ship began sinking after the explosion -- which tore a hole in the stern. Port officials and a ship's spent discounted sabotage. Some of the passengers were going on to Israel by air from Cyprus, and others were returning home.