Kafr El-Sheikh ferry sank due to overload and poor weather conditions

Ahram Online , Friday 1 Jan 2016

The ferryboat was carrying 16 people, while its maximum capacity was 6

The rescue operation in Kafr El-Sheikh searching for survivors in the Nile (Photo:Al-Ahram)

The ferryboat that sank Thursday killing at least 15 people in Kafr El-Sheikh was overloaded and operating during poor weather conditions, causing it to sink in the Nile River, a Kafr El-Sheikh prosecutor told Aswat Masriya on Friday.

Prosecutor Mohamed El-Zonfali of Kafr El-Sheikh told Aswat Masriya that the general prosecution listened to the testimonies of eye witnesses who stated that the ferryboat, with a six-person capacity, was actually a small boat working to transfer people between two villages in the Nile.

On the night of the accident, the boat was carrying 16 people.

The prosecution is investigating the case to find out whether the boat's license was valid or not and whether it was authorised to carry passengers beyond its capacity.

Early reports by police stated that the sunken ferryboat had a license that ended eight months ago and was not fit for sailing.

On Thursday, the country witnessed heavy rains nationwide and cold temperatures that led to several traffic accidents.

Transportation accidents and fatalities, often due to poor maintenance, are not uncommon in Egypt.

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