Hong Kong Ferry Disaster – 38 Dead, Scores Injured, Some Still Missing

Passengers trapped in Lamma IV cabin by broken seats and fallen ceilings
Hong Kong Ferry Crash

An inspection of the wrecked vessel Lamma IV, which has been lifted from the sea and beached at Nga Kau Wan, revealed a ten-square-meter hole struck in the left rear of its hull.  Divers from the police and the Fire Services Department said at a press briefing that during the rescue, they discovered more than 20 passengers being trapped by broken seats and fallen ceiling panels as the boat sank vertically after the collision. In one case a group of five passengers were killed after being trapped under a row of seats. They were found holding hands.

As of yesterday, twenty-two victims of the boat crash continued to be hospitalized including a nine-year-old girl Tsui Hoi-ying who was in critical condition.  Tsui and her little brother were taken on the boat trip by their parents in celebration of the girl’s birthday.  Tsui’s father, a Hongkong Electric engineer, was killed in the crash while her mother and brother survived.

Tsui’s uncle expressed discontent with the lack of information from the government which forced family members to rush around four hospitals.  He also slammed the fact that the government’s investigation will take at least six months to complete.  Calling the lengthy investigation a disregard of affected families’ feeling, he demanded the government to announce investigation results soon.  According to a relative of one of the deceased, the police have refused to release any information about victims of the boat crash.

Mourners Pay Respects at Crash Site

Nelson Ng, General Manager of Hong Kong & Kowloon Ferry Holdings Limited, operator of the commuter ferry that collided with Lamma IV, spoke to the media the first time after the crash yesterday.  Ng admitted that the captain failed to follow international practice and obtain information from Lamma IV after the collision.  But he said the criticism that the ferry left the scene irresponsibly was premature.

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