30 March, 2006

UPDATE#1: Tourist Ship Sinks in Bahrain

Some reports have the time the incident occured as 8pm while others have it at 9.30pm local time. Both have not been confirmed, also the location has been cited as close to Muhrarraq. Also there is a misleading report going around to news agencies that there have been 1,200 feared dead, this is not at all true, completely false, because there is a confirmed report that there were only 150 tourists aboard the ferry of which 60 have survived. This incident has now made it to Wiki News, you may find more details on it there.

SAR (Search And Rescue) spokersperson on site have confirmed in a statement to CNN Arabia's Correspondent - Caroline Faraj that the capacity on the ferry was 60-70 people at the max and 150 people meant the ferry was overbooked -- this has been cited as one of the reasons behind the disaster.

More details are said to follow in an hour. The vessel is a local daily shuttle. No names have been released yet.

Officials from the Interior Ministry are at the scene and have begun a full investigation into the ship's sinking, the area around Mina Salman is currently cordoned off, so I'd suggest anyone planning to go there not to do so, use alternative roads instead to go to whever you need to.

Majority of the tourists were westerners including locals. Rescue personnel have managed to get most of those who survived to the hospitals, some bodies were seen coming out of the water according to sources at the scene. Majority of the people are still missing, the death toll so far is 44. Focus is currently on search and recue, bare details are being provided to media agencies, not many confirmations of reports that MSM is flinging around.

[yahoo - pic credits]

This just came in that 63 people have been rescued, the Ministry of Health, US Naval Support crews and Bahraini Navy and Coast guard are all coordinating the relief efforts and SAR is ongoing. If you have access to CNN International or BBC World TV Channels, I'd suggest you to tune into them because they both are having live phone calls with reporters on the scene and the officials from the Ministry Of Health/Ministry Of Interior.


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