At least 94 people, including 61 women and 19 children, are feared to have died when a passenger ferry capsized and sank in the Tigris River near Mosul, Iraq, on Thursday, March 21.
A local security official stated that the sinking was due to overloading but gave no details on how many people the vessel was carrying beyond its rated maximum capacity.
Rescue teams have brought 55 passengers to safety and recovered 20 bodies as of 09:30 UTC on March 22, an interior ministry spokesperson confirmed.
Videos that have circulated on social media show women and children being swept away by the river’s strong current, which some local officials say was caused by an unusually heavy recent rainy season.
Revellers celebrating the Kurdish New Year comprised majority of the ferry’s passengers in the worst maritime disaster to occur in Iraq in years.
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