A pleasure cruiser with 151 people on board crashed into a river wall by Canary Wharf on Sunday afternoon (September 11). No-one was injured.

The 300-tonne Erasmus had caught fire and was seemingly out of control, narrowly missing the pier at Westferry before sliding into the embankment. Both engines had failed and the captain had dropped anchor.

London Fire Brigade said two boats evacuated the 142 passenges and six crew members, with two staying on board. Three people were checked over for injuries but given the all-clear.

A spokesman for the London Ambulance Service said three people were checked over at the scene but none suffered injuries.

Dan Hine, 38, from Limehouse, told the Evening Standard : “It looked like it was going to park up next to the pier but you could see the boat overshot it and it became perpendicular with the wall.

“Looking at the top deck the passengers looked quite relaxed but you could see from the crew’s faces that this was a bad situation.

“Then the ferry hit the wall with quite an impact and after that people started scrambling around and the sirens went off. There was quite a lot of black smoke at this point.

HeXin Lim, 28, also from Limehouse, told the Standard: “There was a loud noise when it crashed into the wall and you could see people running around on the top deck.

“A small crowd began to gather and then the police helicopter came and speedboats, it was very dramatic.”

The Erasmus is run by Thames Luxury Charters . It is likely the Marine Accident Investigation branch will investigate the cause.