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Cruise ship worker accused of stabbing multiple people with scissors on board vessel bound for Alaska

Simon Calder’s Travel

A South African man has been arrested by the FBI after allegedly stabbing multiple people with medical scissors on a cruise ship.

Ntando Sogoni, 35, was working aboard the Norwegian Encore when other employees saw him trying to deploy a lifeboat on Sunday evening in waters west of Vancouver Island, prompting security to escort him to the ship’s medical centre for an assessment.

The worker was recently hired by Norwegian Cruise Line and had joined the ship in Seattle on Sunday, according to the arrest affidavit.

The cruise was set for a weeklong trip with stops scheduled in ports such as Juneau, Alaska and British Columbia in Canada.

When he arrived for his medical assessment, Mr Sogoni “became irrational and attempted to leave,” according to the affidavit.

Cruise worker charged with assault after the ship attack in Alaska (Getty Images)

In the early hours of Monday, Mr Sogoni allegedly physically attacked a security guard and a nurse inside the examination room, before he ran to another room where a woman, a 75-year-old US citizen, was being examined, according to a news release from Alaska’s District Attorney’s Office said.

He grabbed a pair of scissors, the attorney’s office said, and plunged them into the woman’s arm, hand and face, stabbing her multiple times.

Mr Sogoni then allegedly stabbed two security guards who intervened and were trying to detain him, stabbing one of them in the head and another in the back and shoulders, authorities said.

None of the injuries sustained by the victims were life-threatening.

The cruise ship worker was detained and held in the ship’s jail until the vessel arrived in Juneau on Tuesday.

He has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon within maritime and territorial jurisdiction.

If convicted, Mr Sogoni faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine for each count.

The Independent has contacted Norwegian Cruise Line for comment. Online court records do not show an attorney for Mr Sogoni.

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