30 March, 2006

Update #2: Tourist Ship Sinks in Bahrain

Today morning, the Gulf Daily News (GDN) have filed detailed reports (design of boat in question, National Emergency Health coordination, search for relatives, majority of vicitms are asians) into last night's boat tragedy. Their report puts the death toll as 48 with 27 people injured and 63 alive. Reuters, however, have placed the death toll at 57 and 67 survivors according to an Al Jazeera report quoting an Interior Ministry spokesperson. Initial reports that had come out last night from sources on the scene had it that there were 150 people on board, the the GDN have the right figure as 130 people. SAR operations are ongoing by the Bahraini Royal Navy & Airforce, Coastguard patrols and the US Naval Support crews.

An AP Wire item states that Bahraini surivior - Khalil Mirza was teh passenger who alerted the Coastguard about the boat capsizing in a call to them from his cell phone. "People were scared in the water," he said. "They were fighting with each other and screaming."

(first person to be rescued after the boat cpasiized)

The boat had capsized in between the Mina Salman Port and Muharraq which explains why parts of the Sitra Bridge were cordoned off, yesterday. The boat had a capacity for 100 passengers, but there were around 130 on board. It has een said that, most of those who died drowned. The boating trip had been organised by Nass, Murray and Roberts to celebrate the completion of the concrete structure of the Bahrain World Trade Center (BWTC). Nass, Murray and Roberts are the lead contractors for the BWTC towers.

(Bahrain's Prime Minister at the scene of the accident monitoring a detailed investigation)

Nationality count has been reported by The Telegraph as 25 Britons, 20 Filipinos, 10 South Africans and 10 Egyptians while Bahrain's Health Minister Nada Haffadh in a statement to Al Jazeera has stated that 30 of the rescued were hospitalised including 17 Indians, four Britons, two South Africans, two Filipinos, and one each from Italy, China, Thailand and Bahrain. The British Embassy has confirmed that British nationals are among those missing.

(Injured survivors were taken to hospital, but bodies continued to be brought ashore)

News24 in South Africa has stated that while 7 South Africans have been found, six others are reported to have been among those who died although initial reports indicated that 13 South African were among the 150 passengers on board. This report filed by IOL in South Africa details the scenes of relatives and survivors breaking down the scene last night right after SAR ops had begun.

(At the Salmainya medical centre in the Bahraini capital, Manama, doctors tried to reassure survivors and worried relatives and friends)

Meanwhile the Department of Foreign Affairs in the Philippines have confirmed that of the 20 Filipinos that were aboard the vessel, 3 have been rescued.

This just in: the newsreader on - radio bahrain has just announced that those who have been rescued now stands at 70 - 11.01 am.

1) A hot line has been set up by the Interior Ministry for people seeking information about their relatives, friends who were on board, If you're inside Bahrain, please dial 1-777-00000, if you're calling from overseas, please dial

2) For Singaporean nationals, please call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who have set up a hotline at their duty office in Singapore and are assisting those affected by the tragedy on
6379 8800 / 6379 8855 if you're calling from Singapore and if you're calling from overseas please dial 0065-6379-8800 / 0065-6379-8855 or email


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