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‘Rogue wave’ kills American woman, injures four on Antarctic cruise

<i>Alexis Delelisi/AFP/Getty Images</i><br/>The Norwegian-flagged cruise ship Viking Polaris in Ushuaia
AFP via Getty Images
Alexis Delelisi/AFP/Getty Images
The Norwegian-flagged cruise ship Viking Polaris in Ushuaia

By Kareem El Damanhoury and Tara Subramaniam, CNN

One passenger was killed and four injured when a “rogue wave” hit their cruise ship during a storm earlier this week.

The passengers had been taking an Antarctic cruise aboard the Viking Polaris when it was hit by the storm as it sailed towards Ushuaia, Argentina, late on Tuesday evening.

The storm caused a giant wave that broke several panes of glass on the cruise ship and these fell onto and killed an American woman.

Viking Cruises confirmed in a statement issued Saturday that the ship had been hit by a “rogue wave” — a type of wave the US National Ocean Service describes as being “greater than twice the size of surrounding waves.”

“It is with great sadness that we confirmed a guest passed away following the incident,” Viking Cruises said.

It did not reveal the passenger’s name or nationality.

However, the Argentine state news agency Telam said the dead passenger was an American woman who “received blows from a glass surface that collapsed in the middle of the storm.”

“Four other guests sustained non-life-threatening injuries during the incident and were treated by the ship’s onboard doctor and medical staff,” Viking said.

The cruise line said it is investigating and has canceled the Viking Polaris’ next trip scheduled for December 5 to 17.

The boat arrived in Argentina Wednesday and had sustained “limited damage” during the incident, Viking Cruises said.

The US National Ocean Service describes rogue waves as being “very unpredictable” and says they often come unexpectedly from directions other than prevailing wind and waves.”

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