Hong Kong Boat Collision Kills at Least 37

Oct 2, 2012 2:05am
ap ferry ac 121002 wblog Hong Kong Boat Collision Kills at Least 37

AP Photo/Vincent Yu

Hong Kong police say they’ve arrested six crew members from the two boats involved in a collision that have killed at least 37 people, and injured more than 100 in the deadliest accident in Hong Kong in nearly 20 years.

There were  more than 120 people on board the ferry Monday to see a fireworks display celebrating China’s National Day, when it collided with another passenger ship, near the island off the southwest coast of Hong Kong island. The ferry began to sink within minutes – television images showed the bow of the boat pointing straight up, as rescue crews combed the waters overnight, deploying seven boats and more than 200 rescue crews.

More than 100 people were rescued and rushed to nearby hospitals, nine with serious or critical injuries, according to a government statement.

“The rear of the ferry started to sink. I suddenly found myself deep under the sea,” one passenger told the South China Morning Post. “I swam hard and tried to grab a life buoy. I don’t know where my two kids are.”

Survivors described a frantic scene in the aftermath — passengers smashing windows to break free, rushing to get life jackets as the water crept into the vessel.

The boat was hit by a commuter ferry operated by the Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry company, according to local media reports. That vessel was damaged, but returned to port safely.

Police were interviewing survivors to determine if others are missing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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