Six arrested after Hong Kong ferry sinks
Wed, 03 Oct 2012 12:35p.m.
Six crew members have been arrested after 38 people including five children were killed when two vessels collided on Monday evening off the Lamma Island to the southwest of the Hong Kong Island.
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. Hong Kong 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 the general public to grieve over the dead.
Chinese President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice President Xi Jinping on Tuesday expressed concern for the deadly ship collision in Hong Kong and urged the HK government to spare no efforts to rescue the missing people and console the victims' families.
The incident occurred at the seafront of the Lamma Island, the third largest island in Hong Kong, at about 20:23 Monday evening, 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 Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, at a press conference following an inter-departmental meeting.
"By 16:00 this afternoon, 29 people had been confirmed dead at the scene and eight had been confirmed dead in hospitals. There are altogether 101 injured persons, four seriously, and they have been sent to five hospitals," said CY Leung, chief executive of the HKSAR, at a press conference following an inter-departmental meeting.
Victor Li Tzar-kuoi, vice chairman of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited, mother company of HK Electric, has provided 200,000 HK dollars to the families of victims as an emergency aid. And a company official said they would cooperate with the government to investigate the cause of the accident.
"Both Chairman Li Ka-shing and Vice Chairman Victor Li Tzar-kuoi feel sad for the ship collision and expressed deep condolences to the families of the victims. They asked our colleagues to help the families get through it. We'll cooperate with the local government to investigate the cause of the accident and affix the responsibility," said Juan Shuishih, member of the Operation board at HK Electric.
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