Confusion remains over Rashid ferry crash

Eyewitnesses to Friday’s ferry crash in Rashid have offered conflicting reports of what happened when two ferries on the Nile River collided. At least seven people died in the accident, while the number of missing remains unclear as it is unknown how many passengers were on the boats.

Some witnesses and survivors claim that 31 people died, while official sources denied that anyone drowned, saying that have not received any reports of deaths.

Search efforts finished yesterday and recovered no bodies. Military motorboats used infra-red rays in the search. Infrared can reach as deep as 15 meters. 

Minister of Local Development Abdel Salam el-Mahgoub stated that the incident sank one ferry, while the other remained undamaged. El-Mahgoub said that six passengers sustained minor injuries and were treated at the hospital and released yesterday. El-Mahgoub said seven others escaped unharmed, while six people went home, putting the number of survivors at 19, including the injured.

Hani Salem, public attorney for South Damanhour prosecution, remanded the two ferry drivers into custody for four days pending an investigation. They have been charged with causing the accident, running unlicensed boats, and ignoring security precautions.

Mohamed Sha’arawy, the governor of Beheira, blamed the accident on the citizens who decline to use a newly built bridge over the Nile. He said that he visited the injured and gave them each LE2000. Sha’arawy also accused the drivers of joking and racing, which was supported by a number of survivors. 

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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