Six Arrested in Deadly Hong Kong Ferry Collision

37 dead, including 5 children
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2012 7:00 AM CDT
Relatives of the victims throw paper money Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 as they pay tribute to the people aboard a boat that sank Monday night near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Island.   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
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(Newser) – The death toll in yesterday's Hong Kong ferry collision is now at 37, including five children, and six crew members have been arrested in the tragedy—one of the worst maritime accidents in Hong Kong in decades. The crew members, three from each boat involved, "are being investigated for endangering people's lives at sea," says the Security Minister. The ferry that sank, a pleasure craft, was carrying more than 120 passengers to a fireworks display; it went down within minutes. The other boat, a regular ferry, was able to reach nearby Lamma Island as it was taking on water. None of the fatalities were from that boat, al-Jazeera reports.

Rescue crews are still searching for survivors, and the number of missing is not known, the BBC reports. More than 100 were injured, including nine who remain in critical or serious condition. The suspects who were arrested were "responsible for manning the two vessels," says the head of police, and investigators suspect they "had not exercised the care required of them by law to ensure the safety of the vessels as well as the people on board." More people will likely be arrested, he adds. The scene on the sinking boat was described as "total chaos," with many passengers unable to swim or not wearing life jackets. (Read more Hong Kong stories.)

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