A fatal boat accident occurred in Hong Kong after a passenger boat collided with a ferry, leaving 36 people dead and at least dozens more injured, authorities said.
According to the BBC report, one of the boats carried 121 passengers and three crew who were headed to a fireworks display off Hong Kong’s Lamma Islands before the fatal crash.
The boat was half-way sunk before rescuers reached the scene of the fatal accident on Monday night.
The collision occurred at approximately at 8:20 pm local time.
A statement released by the Hong Kong Fire Services Department (FSD), who were responsible for the rescue operation, said, shortly after the impact, the vessel sunk. Due to the low visibility and many barriers on board, it was very difficult for rescuers.
At 8:41 pm, a diving support vessel arrived on the scene of the crash, the FSD said.
Of the 123 passengers who were picked up, 28 of them were declared dead at the scene and eight others were declared dead upon arrival to the hospital.
It is thought some people may still be inside the vessel or missing in the sea, CNNreports.
According to media reports, the passenger ferry was able to dock safely although government officials have yet to confirm whether or not passengers who were aboard the ferry were injured.
One male survivor spoke with South China Morning Post:
“After ten minutes out a boat crashed into ours from the side at very high speed. The rear of the ferry started to sink. I suddenly found myself deep under the sea. I swam hard and tried to grab a life buoy. I don’t know where my two kids are.”