1 January 2016

Egypt: At Least 13 People Dead in Kafr El-Sheikh Ferryboat Sinking

Cairo — At least 13 people were found dead due to the sinking of a ferryboat in the Egyptian province of Kafr el-Sheikh, as announced by the Kafr el-Sheikh governor Friday.

A ferryboat that used to carry passengers from a village in Kafr el-Sheikh province to another in Beheira province sank late Thursday.

In statements to the press, Kafr el-Sheikh Governor al-Sayed Nasr announced the rise in the number of victims to 13 after bodies were found near the scene of the incident.

Investigations are ongoing to determine whether passenger overload or bad weather conditions were the reason behind the sinking of the ferryboat. A prosecution team was formed to retrieve testimonies from witnesses and families of the deceased.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the ferryboat's license had expired eight months ago, making it "unfit" from a technical aspect.

Nasr added that compensation would be provided for the families of the victims as well as the injured.

Transportation accidents recur frequently in Egypt. In July, around 40 people died in a sinking boat after it crashed with a heavy-cargo ship in the Nile river.

During the Mubarak era, the famous sinking of the Egyptian ferry al-Salam Boccaccio 98 in the Red Sea in 2006 led to the death of around 1000 passengers, mostly Egyptians returning from Saudi Arabia. The government was heavily criticised for failing to deliver rescue in due time.

Egypt also has one of the highest worldwide casualties caused by car accidents. The Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) reported 2,808 deaths in the first half of 2015.

According to a 2015 World Health Organization (WHO) report, 10,466 Egyptians were killed in accidents in 2013.


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