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17 April 2024

Two HK-Macau ferries collide in heavy fog, 10 missing

By Agencies


Two hydrofoils ferrying passengers between the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau collided at night in heavy fog, leaving 10 missing and seriously injuring 19 people, officials and local media reported.

The poor visibility on Friday was also blamed for a number of other maritime accidents in the region. Parts of China's southern coast were enveloped in fog because of a warm, humid maritime air stream.

Thick fog blanketed China's commercial center, Shanghai, where an unlicensed river ferry carrying 22 people capsized on Friday, leaving 10 missing, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported. The ferry, one of many that operate in the area without proper safety equipment or certification, sank near the city's Wusong pier shortly after the accident, Xinhua said.

The 10 men and nine women passengers hurt in the ferry collision in Macau suffered mainly head injuries and bone fractures that were not life-threatening, said Alex Che, a spokesman for the government of Macau.

Another 114 passengers suffered lighter injuries and were being treated in Macau, Che said.

Their updated conditions on Saturday were not immediately available, government spokeswoman Elena Au said.

"All the glass shattered and the front of the ship fell off," a male passenger, identified only by the surname Chan, told Hong Kong's Cable TV.

Wong Soi Man, director of Macau's Maritime Administration, said the accident's cause had not yet been determined, but "heavy fog must be one of the key factors."

In another incident, 66 people were rescued from a ferry that ran aground near the coastal city of Zhuhai near Macau, Xinhua said.

Hours earlier, another high-speed ferry traveling west from Hong Kong to Macau and carrying more than 370 passengers hit a small fishing vessel, said Hong Kong Marine Department spokeswoman Daisy Lo.

No one was injured and both vessels continued their journeys.

About 2,000 people were stranded at the Hong Kong and Macau ferry piers on Friday, local media reported.

The Hong Kong Observatory on Saturday forecast mainly fine weather, with some fog patches. Turbojet said its ferry services were back to normal. (AP)