Published: Thu, March 21, 2019

At least 40 killed in Iraq in Tigris River ferry accident

At least 40 killed in Iraq in Tigris River ferry accident

At least 72 people died when an overloaded ferry carrying families on an outing sank in the Tigris river in Mosul in northern Iraq, medical sources told Reuters on Thursday.

According to rescuers' initial assessment, the ferry had been loaded beyond its 100-person capacity and tipped over as it traversed the river toward Mosul's Tourist Island.

Most of the people on board the vessel were women and children and could not swim, the head of Mosul's civil defence agency reportedly said.

Khalil said the vessel sank because of a technical problem, and there were few boats in the area to rescue people.

Numerous victims are women and children, according to the Mosul Eye, a blog that documents events in the city. I couldn't help. I feel guilty.

Video published by Iraqi media show tens of people struggling in water that is high and fast-flowing after days of rains.

Reconstruction of Mosul, much of which was destroyed in a military campaign to recapture the city from Islamic State militants in 2017, has barely begun and is haphazard.

Adel Abdul-Mahdi, the Iraqi prime minister, ordered an investigation and expressed deep condolences to the families of the victims. The city's infrastructure remains largely damaged. He said 30 people were rescued, adding that search operations were still under way and it was not known how many people were onboard the ferry.

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