At least three people were killed when a container ship rammed a control tower in the northern Italian port city of Genoa late on Tuesday (May 7), the head of the local police said on Wednesday (May 8).

Two of the dead were harbour officials and the third was one of the pilots, local television station Primocanale quoted officials as saying.

Emergency services attending the scene said several people had been injured in the disaster.

As well as those confirmed dead or injured, as many as 10 more people were still missing after the accident, which destroyed one of the harbour's main control towers.

Rescue workers said they were continuing to search for those who remained unaccounted for.

Television pictures showed rescue services searching the water near the tower for survivors or bodies

The incident occurred in calm conditions as the ship, owned by a local fleet operator, was manoeuvring out of the port with the assistance of tugboats, under the control of two pilots.

Presented by Adam Justice