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Hong Kong authorities arrested the captains and crew members of two vessels after a collision killed at least 38 people, including children. The incident was the worst the city has seen in almost 40 years.
Officials accused the captains of both vessels, along with five crew members from each, of “endangering the safety of others at sea”.
The suspects “did not exercise the care required of them by law to ensure the safety of the vessels they were operating and the people on board,” Police chief Tsang Wai-hung told AFP. Most of the detainees were released on bail while the ferry captain will be released on bail later, officials said.
The ferry boat and company vessel were on their way to watch a fireworks display in Victoria Harbour when the collision occurred near Lamma island. Most of the fatalities were passengers from the company vessel, including five children. According to reports, the Hong Kong Electric boat sank after water quickly rushed in. Passengers aboard the ferry were relatively unharmed. Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying said the government is investigating on the incident and dismissed concerns on Hong Kong’s maritime rules and ‘dated’ safety regulations.