Approximately 120 people were injured when a high-speed jetfoil heading from Macau towards Hong Kong hit an “unidentified object” last night south of Lantau Island.
The injured, aged between six and 83, were sent to seven hospitals, with 87 discharged as of this morning. In addition to the five patients in critical condition, five were categorised as serious and 27 stable.
Over 170 people on board the ferry lost power after colliding with an "unidentified object" in the water, according to the boat's operator, Shun Tak.
The local media quoted passengers who described there being chaos after the crash. The Turbojet lost power after the accident and water began seeping in as passengers scrambled in the dark for lifejackets.
"It went dark. A lot of people were injured and many were bleeding," one man with a bandage on his head told Apple Daily newspaper.
A large rescue operation was mounted involving the Government Flying Service, Marine Police, Fire Services Department and the Marine Department.
According to the South China Morning Post preliminary accounts, police received a call at about 7pm that the ferry – carrying 163 passengers and 11 crew – had slammed into an object near Siu A Chau, one of the Soko Islands.
It was the fourth accident in two years on the busy hour-long ferry route between the coastal Chinese territories of Macau and Hong Kong. Vessels depart around every 15 minutes on the route, which operates around the clock, taking passengers from the Asian financial center of Hong Kong to Macau, a former Portuguese colony now known mainly for its glitzy casinos.
In June last year, 70 people were injured when a ferry from Hong Kong slammed into a breakwater off Macau’s main ferry terminal.