106 hurt in 2 fog-bound sea crashes

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 February, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 February, 2005, 12:00am

A total of 106 people were injured in two separate collisions in Hong Kong waters within an hour yesterday morning, as thick fog cut visibility to as little as 100 metres.

In the worst accident, 104 people were injured, two seriously, when a mainland-bound high-speed catamaran and a cargo boat collided off Tsing Yi at 8.10am.

Earlier, two people were injured when they were hurled into the water from their cargo boat when it collided with a cruise liner off Chai Wan at about 7.30am.

Investigators were last night still trying to determine the cause of the accidents, but poor visibility was considered a factor. Acting director of Marine Roger Tupper said they would also look into the speed of the vessels and whether they were in the wrong shipping channel.

The mainland-registered catamaran Nansha No38, bound for Panyu in Guangdong, was carrying 156 passengers and nine crew when it collided with the 50-metre Zhong Hang98. The injured, many suffering cuts and fractures, were taken to six hospitals. Two injured crewmen of the cargo boat were treated on board.