Almost 100 dead as Iraq ferry sinks on spring holiday trip

  • Friday 22, March 2019 07:55 AM
Sharjah 24 – AFP: Almost 100 people, mostly women and children, died Thursday as a ferry packed with families celebrating Kurdish New Year sank in Iraq's River Tigris in Mosul, in Iraq's worst accident in years.
There was an outpouring of grief among residents who only this year resumed the annual festivities on the banks of the Tigris.

Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi decreed three days of national mourning as he visited the site of the tragedy. He ordered a swift investigation "to determine responsibilities".

The vessel was crammed with men, women and children crossing the Tigris to go to a popular picnic area to celebrate Nowruz, the Kurdish New Year and a holiday across Iraq marking the start of spring.

The accident, which struck as the overloaded vessel turned back, also coincided with Mother's Day in Iraq.

The interior ministry, issuing a fresh toll, said 94 people had died and 55 were rescued, after its spokesman Saad Maan said at least 19 children were among the dead.

The premier said 61 women had died in the accident.