14:40 02 October 2012
Two vessels crashed in to each on Monday in Hong Kong (HK) with catastrophic results as officials have confirmed that around 36 passengers have been killed so far, with an air and sea search for survivors continuing in to Tuesday.
It is understood that HK’s Chief Executive, CY Leung, has demanded that an inquiry takes place to discover what caused the event near Lamma Island – off HK mainland. Reportedly, one boat had at least 120 passengers on board.
A statement issued by HK government read: “Over 100 people were sent to five hospitals during the incident; nine of them have sustained serious injuries or are in critical condition.”
The Independent state that local news reports have claimed a boat was hit by a ferry operated by HK and Kowloon Ferry company, and that the ferry returned back to land safely. The BBC has reported that a power company called Hong Kong Electric told them they owned the boat which was hit, listed and sank.
The incident occurred following a holiday weekend that celebrated a mid-autumn festival and so passenger travel was busy. Many people were travelling to Victoria Harbour to watch the National Day firework display.
Reportedly, the search has been affected by bad visibility and also obstacles on the boat. The Independent explained that fire services attended the scene, as well as diving operations being put in place according to the Xinhua News Agency.
It is thought that accidents such as this are not common in HK as it is a busy shipping route with commercial ships and leisure vessels, including fishermen’s boats, taking to its waters frequently.
Lamma Island is a popular tourist destination where many people travel to often on ferries and other such vessels.
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