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Huge wave hits Mediterranean cruise ship, kills 2

BARCELONA, Spain - A 26-foot wave smashed into a cruise ship carrying nearly 2,000 people in the Mediterranean yesterday, smashing glass windshields and killing two passengers, according to officials and news reports.

Six people suffered light injuries, the Greek coast guard said. The dead were identified as a German and an Italian.

The ship asked for permission to dock in Barcelona, the Spanish news agency Europa Press said. There, four ambulances were waiting to take the bodies and the injured to a hospital in the city, the agency said.

Spanish reports said a 62-year-old woman had had both legs broken.

The Greek coast guard said the accident occurred near Marseille as the Cypriot-owned Louis Majesty was sailing from Barcelona to Genoa, Italy, with 1,350 passengers and 580 crew members on board.

But the French newspaper Le Figaro and Spanish news reports said the accident happened off Capo de Begur, off the coast of Spain about 80 miles northeast of Barcelona.

Europa Press said the ship had set sail from Cartagena earlier yesterday, intending to stop in Barcelona but decided to continue on its journey to Genoa because of bad weather near Barcelona.

Cmdr. Bernard Celier of the French maritime authority said there had been winds of more than 60 mph in the area.Louis Cruise Lines spokesman Michael Maratheftis said the ship was hit by three "abnormally high" waves. - AP

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