At least 36 people were killed in a crash between two passenger boats off Hong Kong.
One of the vessels was carrying more than 120 people to a fireworks display when it half-sank following the collision last night near Lamma Island (pictured), two miles southwest of Hong Kong island.
Twenty-eight people were pronounced dead at the scene. About 100 others were taken to hospital, eight of whom were later said to have died.
A large-scale air and sea search for survivors was still continuing.
A Hong Kong government statement said: “Over 100 people were sent to five hospitals during the incident, nine of them have sustained serious injuries or are in critical condition.”
Power company Hong Kong Electric was reportedly using a commercial boat to take staff and family members to watch China National Day fireworks in Victoria Harbour.
The vessel and a ferry collided, causing the chartered boat to list, a company official was quoted as saying.
The second vessel, which was not badly damaged and continued on its way after the accident, was a passenger ferry operated by Hong Kong & Kowloon Ferry Holdings, according to local cable outlet Now TV.
After daybreak, the boat was half submerged with its bow pointing almost straight up.
Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung promised an investigation into the accident.
“All of Hong Kong’s emergency forces are focused here,” he said. “Wide-ranging rescue work is being carried out on in the sea, land and in the air.”
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