REVISES DEATH TOLL, ADDS MORE DETAILS
By Mazin Majeed Asaad Baqal and Haydar Karaalp
BAGHDAD (AA) – A ferry sank in Iraq’s Tigris River on Thursday, leaving 85 people dead and dozens injured, according to civil defense officials quoted by local media.
The boat was reportedly carrying 170 passengers to a small tourist island when it sank near Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province in northern Iraq.
Rescue teams have so far managed to pull at least 12 survivors from the river, according to local officials.
Victims’ bodies are reportedly being sent to medical facilities in Mosul for forensic analysis.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi declared three days of national mourning shortly after visiting the scene.
Nine people have been detained in connection with the accident, according to a statement from Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council.
The council also issued arrest warrants for the owner of the ferry and the tourist island.
Although no official statement has been issued yet on the cause of the accident, local residents claim it may have occurred because the ferry was overcrowded with 170 passengers when it could only carry 50 at most.