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HK ship collision under investigation

10-03-2012 20:43 BJT

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By CCTV reporter Yu Li

The death toll now stands at 38, with 5 of them children. The HK Special Administrative Region has held a press conference on the accident. And an investigation is underway. Local authorities have promised there will be no repeat of such a tragedy.

The most severe sea accident in four decades, with heavy personal losses.

The boat that went down, the "Lamma Four", has been dredged from the water to a nearby harbor.

Heavy damage is visible, with part of the stern torn away.

Hong Kong police officers have set up blockades on the shore while they continue the investigation.

Preliminary results show the stern was seriously damaged, and all masts broken. Its hull was cracked.

Meanwhile, the company that owns the other ferry involved in the accident, Sea Smooth, says the vessel passed a safety inspection just last month.

There’s been a storm of controversy because the, Sea Smooth, reportedly left the scene after the collision. The General Manager of the ship’s parent company stressed that his firm was still waiting on information regarding what exactly happened after the accident.

Nelson Ng, General Manager, HK & Kowloon Ferry Holdings LTD. said, "We’ve seen in the media that our ferry was leaning to one side at the time of the accident. Ferry crew members were also injured. I believe the captain assessed the seriousness of the accident at the moment. As I said, we haven’t got the detailed report of the accident. So we don’t yet know why the captain decided to leave the scene."

Seven crew members have been arrested on suspicion of endangering the safety of others at sea. The investigation team will soon begin to examine the satellite records of the two boats.

Tsang Wai-Hung, Hong Kong Police Commissioner said, "We’ve come to the suspicion that the crew responsible for manning the two vessels has not exercised the care required of them by law to ensure the safety of the vessel that they are navigating as well as the people on board their vessels. It is on this basis that they’ve been arrested to assist police inquiry."

Various mourning ceremonies have been held, with some relatives of the victims throwing spirit money into the sea in memory of their loved ones.

Meanwhile, a number of local newspapers are publishing black and white pictures to express their condolences to the victims.

The local government has declared October 4th a day of mourning.

Editor:Wang Shuo |Source: CCTV.com

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