Death toll rises to 25 in Sunday's Gulf of Suez ship collision

Ahram Online , Friday 19 Dec 2014

Three fishermen remain missing after collision between container ship and fishing boat

Injured fishermen lies in Tor Sinai hospital in the Red Sea governorate, Egypt, December 14, 2014 (Photo: Al-Ahram)

The death toll from a collision between two ships in the Red Sea last Sunday has risen to 25, a local official told Al-Ahram daily newspaper.

The accident occurred in the Gulf of Suez between Ras Ghareb on the Egyptian mainland and El-Tor on the Sinai Peninsula when an Egyptian fishing boat collided with a Jeddah-bound Kuwaiti container ship travelling from Italy.

Initial reports suggested that there were around 40 fishermen on the boat at the time of the collision. Thirteen were rescued alive at the scene.

South Sinai official Ahmed Fawzy told Al-Ahram on Saturday that the navy had recovered the bodies of five fishermen in Gabal El-Zeit in the Gulf of Suez.

Three fishermen are still missing, Fawzy said.

On Monday, a group of relatives of the fishermen involved held a protest outside the South Sinai governorate headquarters, criticising the slow pace of the rescue efforts and demanding the bodies of the remaining fishermen be recovered.

An Egyptian misdemeanour court has ordered the detention of the captain and the first officer of the Kuwaiti ship for 15 days while the incident is investigated.

The Egyptian navy has been examining the Kuwaiti vessel, which is impounded in Safaga port.

In February 2006, around 1,000 people, mostly Egyptians, were killed when a ferry caught fire and sank in the Red Sea, in one of the country's worst maritime disasters.

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