Saturday, 13 April 2013

Six months

The collision on Monday night involved a pleasure boat, the Lamma IV, and a ferry operated by the Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry (HKKF) company. Five children were among the dead and one UK national is known to have died. More than 90 people were hospitalised after the accident. By Wednesday, 71 people had been discharged and one was in critical condition, hospital authorities said. A complete picture of the accident, which reportedly occurred in clear conditions, may not emerge any time soon, investigators said. Investigations into the accident could take six months, authorities said "The investigation is expected to take around six months," a marine department spokeswoman told reporters. Those arrested include the captains of the two vessels. Investigators are examining the wreck of the Lamma IV, which has been towed to a beach, revealing a huge hole in its rear. The accident occurred during a busy period for passenger travel, at the end of a long holiday weekend to mark the mid-autumn festival that this year coincided with China's National Day on 1 October. The Lamma IV was carrying employees of Hong Kong Electric and their families to watch a firework display. It partially sank within minutes of the collision. The ferry was able to reach Lamma safely despite taking on water. The crash is Hong Kong's worst maritime accident since 1971, when a ferry sank during a typhoon, leaving 88 people dead.

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