What was supposed to be a grand celebration with fireworks for China’s National Day quickly turned into a dark disaster.
According to the NY Times, six crew members have been detained in Hong Kong in connection with a ferry accident that caused more than a dozen deaths Monday night. The individuals are suspected of mishandling the two vessels that collided off the coast of Lamma, one of the largest of Hong Kong’s many outlying islands.
As the city was preparing for a massive fireworks display, the accident occurred when a boat, the Lamma IV belonging to Hong Kong Electric, carrying more than 120 passengers, including children, crashed into a ferry coming from the opposite side. Witnesses say the vessel quickly sank. “Within 10 minutes, the ship had sunk. We had to wait at least 20 minutes before we were rescued,” Reuters quoted one survivor as saying.
The collision launched an immediate search-and-rescue operation. Thirty-seven people, some of them children, were confirmed to have been killed. More than 100 people were hospitalized, some with serious injuries.
During a news conference in Hong Kong, police officials said more arrests may occur.