One crew member has died in an accident on the world's biggest cruise liner, Harmony of the Seas. Four other crew were also injured during the safety drill which happened while the ship was docked in Marseille.

One crew member has died and four others have been injured in an accident on the Harmony of the Seas, the world’s biggest cruise liner.

The Royal Caribbean ship was docked at the port of Marseille in France when the incident happened.

The 42-year-old crew member was killed during a routine lifeboat drill. It is understood the lifeboat, which had five crew on board, became detached from the ship and fell 10 metres into the water.

All five crew were recovered from the sea and given emergency treatment, but the 42-year-old crew member, who is understood to be from the Philippines, died.

Two others are reported to be in hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Harmony of the Seas at La Spezia, Italy

Harmony of the Seas docked at La Spezia, northern Italy. Credit: Tangopaso

An investigation has now been launched by the French authorities.

A spokesperson for Royal Caribbean said in a statement: “We are sorry to share the sad news that a crew member aboard Harmony of the Seas has died of injuries suffered during a lifeboat drill conducted while docked at the port of Marseille, France.”

“Four other crew members received medical treatment in the same incident. We are keeping our colleagues and their families in our thoughts and prayers,” concluded the spokesperson.

Harmony of the Seas only entered into service this year, debuting at Southampton.

It made its maiden voyage on 29 May to Barcelona, Spain, which has become the ship’s summer homeport.

Harmony of the Seas’ inaugural summer season offered seven-night Western Mediterranean itineraries, showcasing European destinations such as Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence (Marseilles), France; Florence/Pisa, Rome and Naples, Italy.

It will reposition to America in November, where Harmony will make Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, her permanent homeport.

Harmony of the Seas was built by STX France in Saint-Nazaire.  The company specialises in the construction of cruise ships.

The vessel has 18 decks and can accommodate 6,780 guests and 2,100 crew.

It measures 1,188-feet long, nearly the same length as four football fields, and encompasses 226,963 gross registered tons.

The Oasis-class cruise liner, which is the 25th ship in the Royal Caribbean International fleet, has a number of innovative features.

These include the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea with a 10-story plunge; robot bartenders at The Bionic Bar; virtual balconies with real-time views of the destination and VOOM – the fastest internet at sea – so that guests can stay connected.

Harmony of the Seas infographic