HONG KONG- Twenty people were injured when a Hong Kong ferry crashed into a seawall off the coast of the gambling enclave of Macau Friday, officials said, the latest accident to hit the cities’ busy waterways.
The crash happened when the Macau-bound ferry — reported to be a jetfoil boat — was approaching the port at around 9.30 am (0130 GMT) and hit a concrete breakwater, a spokesman for Macau’s marine department said.
“Twenty people were injured as the ferry was arriving from Hong Kong and rescue boats were used to carry them back to shore for treatment,” the spokesman said.
“The extent of the injuries will be determined later. But for now, we can say most of them were slightly injured. Some of them were hospitalized because they were bleeding.”
Passenger ferries regularly cover the hour-long distance between Hong Kong and Macau.
Local broadcaster RTHK said the ferry involved was a jetfoil and the cause of accident was yet to be determined.
It is the third accident on the Hong Kong to Macau ferry route in the past eight months.
In November, a high-speed ferry travelling from Hong Kong to Macau hit an “unidentified object” near one of Hong Kong’s small outlying islands, injuring 87 people.
And last month a Hong Kong-bound Macau ferry collided with a mainland Chinese vessel, leaving 33 injured.
Fears over maritime safety in Hong Kong were sparked after a fatal collision between a passenger ferry and a pleasure boat carrying around 120 people claimed 39 lives in October in 2012.
The accident was the city’s worst boating disaster in decades and shocked the Asian financial hub, which prides itself on its good safety record.
An inquiry into the crash found a “litany of errors” and “systematic failings” in the marine department’s safety standards.
Fatal boat accidents are rare in Hong Kong despite its crowded waters, which often see high-speed hydrofoils vying for space with tourist junks, luxury yachts and a century-old public ferry system.