A holiday ended in when a ferry boat sunk off Hong Kong harbour after colliding with another vessel around 20:30 local time Monday, killing at least 36 people – the latest number of fatalities found in search and rescue operations.
The two passenger boats, carrying over 120 passengers, were on their way to watch a huge fireworks display in Victoria harbour when they collided off Lamma Island, according to reports. The Hong Kong Electric company’s vessel, with crew and their families aboard, had quickly filled with water and sank, leaving only its bow protruding from the waters. All of the dead and most of the injured are believed to have been passengers of the Hong Kong Electric vessel, officials said. Children were also among the dead.
The Fire Service Department said they have not ruled out that people are trapped inside the vessel. Overnight search and rescue operations are scouring surrounding waters where the boat sank for any signs of survivors despite low visibility and “many obstacles onboard”. “Divers have entered the submerged portion of the boat to rescue survivors, passengers or crew members,” a statement from the government said. Investigations on the collision are under way. “We must understand the reason for this incident,” the government stated.