Hong Kong charter boat hits ferry, 8 die

2012-10-01 20:07
Survivors accompanied by rescuers, are taken ashore after a collision involving two vessels in Hong Kong. (Vincent Yu, AP)

Survivors accompanied by rescuers, are taken ashore after a collision involving two vessels in Hong Kong. (Vincent Yu, AP)

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Hong Kong - A chartered boat packed with revellers during a holiday weekend collided with a ferry and sank on Monday night off Hong Kong, killing at least eight people and injuring dozens more, authorities said.

The boat was carrying about 120 people when the accident happened near Lamma Island, a government statement said.

The hired vessel was headed to Hong Kong's famed Victoria Harbour to watch a fireworks display on a long holiday weekend to celebrate China's National Day and mid-autumn festival.

The government said 101 people were rescued and the hospital authority said 53 people, including the eight dead, were taken to four hospitals.

Television channels showed the boat half submerged with the bow pointing straight up.

The government initially said a ferry collided with a tugboat.

However, local news reports said the vessel that sank had been rented by the Hong Kong Electric utility company for a staff outing when it was hit by a larger boat operated by the Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry company on a regularly scheduled service.

Lamma is the third-biggest island in Hong Kong and near one of the city's busiest shipping lanes.

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