Seven crew members from two passenger boats that collided Monday in Hong Kong have been arrested in the investigation into the deadly collision. Police say the suspects are detained on suspicion of endangering passengers’ lives. The cause of the collision remains unknown.
The accident happened late Monday in Victoria Harbor near Lamma Island. Authorities say the ferry owned by Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry Holdings sustained damage to its hull, but was able to travel safely to land with several passengers and crew suffering minor injuries. The other boat, owned by The Hong Kong Electric Company, immediately began sinking. At least 38 people died and more than 100 people were injured. An unknown number of people remain missing.
Hong Kong Electric Director Yuen Sui-see insisted that the safety of their boat is not in question. “Our ship's license was granted recently, so this is not an issue about inspection. I hope everyone understands that we were directly crashed into,” he said. “This is equivalent to a car colliding straight into you and when this happens, whether or not the car has undergone inspections earlier, is a completely different issue.”
Employees and their families were on the boat to watch fireworks celebrating China’s National Day. The company plans to pay each family that lost a loved one $25,800.
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