Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Ferry disasters

A search is still on for survivors from a ferry that capsized during a storm on the Brahmaputra river in India's Assam state.    At least 103 are believed to have been drowned, and another 100 are still missing.

Police said the ferry broke in two after capsizing, and many of the victims were swept away by the river’s strong currents.    One survivor said he managed to cling on to a log and was then rescued by local people.

Many ferries on the river are considered to have poor safety standards and accidents are common.    According to one police officer, the ferry was overloaded with people and goods, and it carried no lifeboats or life jackets.

Probably the worst ferry disaster, and the worst peacetime maritime disaster ever, was the sinking of the Dona Paz in the Philippines in 1987, in which up to 4,300 people drowned.  (See also my blogs of Aug 7, Sept 6 and 26, Nov 18 and Dec 30, 2009.)

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