3 Oct 2012

Crew arrested after Hong Kong ferry collision

7:43 am on 3 October 2012

Police have arrested six crew after a ferry and a company boat collided off Hong Kong, killing 37 people as the boat sank.

The boat, belonging to Hongkong Electric Co, was taking passengers to watch fireworks in the city's Victoria Harbour on Monday when the two vessels collided near the outlying island of Lamma.

Five children were among the dead. More than 100 people were taken to hospital, with nine suffering serious injuries or in critical condition, the government said in a statement.

The arrests involved crew of both vessels, Reuters reports.

Police Commissioner Andy Tsang did not rule out the possibility of further arrests.

The collision sparked a major rescue involving dive teams, helicopters and boats that saw scores plucked from the sea. A large crane on a barge was connected to the stricken boat.

Survivors said the ship sank quickly, and had to break windows to swim to the surface.

The ferry, owned by Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry Holdings, suffered a badly damaged bow in the collision but made it safely to the pier on Lamma.

Several of its roughly 100 passengers and crew were injured.

Hongkong Electric, a unit of Power Assets Holdings which is controlled by Asia's richest man Li, said the boat had capacity to hold up to 200 people.