Police in Hong Kong arrested seven crew members from two boats in a collision that killed 38 holiday revelers, but offered no theory about how the vessels ran into each other on a clear night on one of the safest and most regulated waterways in Asia.
The Monday night accident was Hong Kong's deadliest in more than 15 years, and the worst maritime accident in more than 40. Some relatives of the dead went to the scene off Hong Kong island's southwest coast to toss spirit money in honor of the victims yesterday, while other people waited at the morgue for tragic news about loved ones.
Police Commissioner Tsang Wai-hung said six people had been detained on suspicion of endangering passengers by operating a boat unsafely. "We expect further persons to be arrested," Tsang said. Police announced a seventh arrest after his comments.
Tsang said police suspect both crews had not "exercised the care required of them by law," but he did not elaborate.
Death toll of Hong Kong ship collision rises to 38
Thirty-eight people including five children were killed after two vessels collided on Monday evening off the Lamma Island on the southwest of the Hong Kong Island, and six crew from both vessels have been detained, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said Tuesday evening.
According to the government, the six individuals detained were under investigation for "endangering people's lives at sea".
A territory-wide condolence will be held on Oct. 4. Regional flags at government buildings will be at half-mast for three days starting Thursday, during which consolatory areas will be set up in all 18 districts of Hong Kong for members of the general public to grieve over the dead.
The incident occurred at the seafront of the Lamma Island, the third largest island in Hong Kong, at about 8:23 p.m. Monday, when Hong Kong residents were on a public holiday.
One vessel, which sank quickly after the collision, carried over 120 passengers and crew. It was rented by the Hong Kong Electric Company to send some of its staff and their family members for an evening cruise to watch a massive fireworks display at the Victoria Harbor.
The other vessel, which was damaged but did not capsize, was a regular ferry operated by the Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry Company. It also carried a number of passengers.
"This is definitely an isolated incident. The marine territory of Hong Kong is safe," said CY Leung, chief executive of the HKSAR, a press conference following an inter-departmental meeting.
President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice President Xi Jinping on Tuesday expressed condolence over Monday's deadly ship collision in Hong Kong and urged the HK government to spare no efforts to rescue the missing people and comfort the victims' families.
Hu, Wen and Xi had all made calls to learn about the relief work.
They urged the maritime rescue center and other involved departments to fully cooperate with the Hong Kong government in rescue and provide all the help needed.
The central government had asked neighboring Guangdong Province to send four salvage vessels to help Hong Kong police with rescue work after the accident occurred. Full story
The death toll of a ship collision took place on Monday in Hong Kong rose to 36 as of 7:45 a.m. Tuesday, Hong Kong's Information Services Department said in an updated statement.
Twenty eight were confirmed dead at the scene while eight others certified dead upon arrivals at hospitals, the statement said.
More than 100 people were transferred to five hospitals, with nine severely injured, said the statement.
A ferry and a pleasure craft collided off the Lamma Island on the southwest of the Hong Kong Island at about 8:23 p.m. Monday.
At least 25 people were killed, over 100 were injured after two vessels collided on Monday evening off the Lamma Island on the southwest of the Hong Kong Island, the Hong Kong city government said Tuesday.
The incident occurred at the seafront of the Lamma Island, the third largest island in Hong Kong, at about 8:23 p.m. Monday, when Hong Kong residents were on a public holiday celebrating the mid- autumn festival and China's National Day.
One vessel, which sank quickly after the collision, was carrying over 120 passengers and crew. It was rented by the Hong Kong Electric company for carrying its staff and their family members on an evening cruise to watch a massive fireworks celebrating the National Day at the Victoria Harbour.
The other vessel, which was damaged but did not capsize, was a regular ferry operated by the Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry company. It was also carrying dozens of passengers, according to local media.
As at 3 a.m. Tuesday, 123 people has been salvaged, among them 25 were dead, including 17 certified dead at scene and eight others certified dead upon arrival of hospitals, the city government said in a statement released early Tuesday morning. Full story
Two vessels collided on Monday evening off the Lamma Island to the southwest of the Hong Kong Island, and a major rescue was underway, local police said.
The vessel collision occurred at the seafront of the Lamma Island at 8:23 p.m. local time. The accident involved a tug boat and a ferry, which around 120 people were aboard, the city government said in a statement. Full story