Hong Kong ferry accident – At least 124 people were injured when a high-speed ferry travelling from Macau to Hong Kong hit an object in the water.
The local authorities received a call at around six in the evening that the ferry had lost power after slamming into an object floating in the water close to Lantau Island. Marine police boats were sent to rescue passengers from the drifting vessel.
The ferry, carrying 163 passengers and 11 crew members, hit an “unidentified object” off a small island in Hong Kong’s western shores, reported by the rescue workers. Despite of the collision, the ferry was not in any danger of sinking.
According to local media, majority of the travelers had injuries to limbs and faces. Some passengers waited on board to be rescued for several hours. Later, the rescued passengers were taken to several hospitals in Hong Kong.
“The lights suddenly went out. It was chaotic at first but then the passengers managed to calm down soon,” said one of the passengers while talking to the South China Morning Post. According to the Hospital Authority, five people were still in critical condition as of Monday morning.
It is the fourth tragedy in two years on one of the most popular ferry-route between former Chinese territories of Macau and Hong Kong. The island nation of Hong Kong has the busiest waterways as the vessels leaving every 15 minutes taking passengers from the Asian financial center of Hong Kong to gambling hub of Macau and vice versa.
In a similar accident, dozens of people were injured when a Macau hydrofoil hit a floating object off an outlying Hong Kong island. Last year, a vessel hit a breakwater in Macau’s harbor and another collided with a cargo ship in separate incidents that left dozens injured
In 2012, the safety of Hong Kong’s waters was called into question after a fatal crash in which 39 people were killed when a high-speed ferry collided with a pleasure boat near Lamma Island. IMAGE/Reuters