Egyptian official blames Nile boat skipper for collision that left 32 dead

Ahram Online , Friday 24 Jul 2015

On Wednesday, a chartered boat collided with a cargo ship near Al-Warraq district in Giza, causing the chartered boat to capsize, leaving 32 dead

Egypt
A relative of a victim of a Nile River boat collision, looks on during a search for victims in the Warraq area of Giza (Photo: Reuters)

The driver of the Nile boat is the only one to blame for the collision that caused the death of 32 people, an Egyptian official said on Friday.

On Wednesday, at least 35 passengers were estimated to have been on board a chartered boat when it collided with a cargo ship near Al-Warraq district in Giza, near Cairo, causing the chartered boat to capsize.

The skipper of the cargo ship has been arrested and detained pending a probe into the incident.

Hamed El-Akeily, an interior minister aide who is the head of the Environment and Water Bodies Police, said in a statement that the skipper of the cargo ship warned the driver of the Nile boat, but the latter ignored the warnings and sped right in front of the cargo ship.

"The boat did not move quick enough, causing the cargo ship to collide with it," El-Akeily added.

Locals angered by the deaths and families of those still missing blocked off a main road in the area where the boat sank on Thursday and chanted anti-government slogans.

Boat accidents are not uncommon on the Nile or off Egypt’s coast. They are often blamed on rickety crafts or loose enforcement of the law.

Last year, six people including a child were killed when their chartered boat collided with a bridge structure near downtown Cairo.

The country’s deadliest boat accident occurred in February 2006 when a ferry sank in the Red Sea, killing more than 1,000 people.

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