Ferry 'passed safety inspection'

Salisbury Journal: A half submerged boat is lifted out of the water after Monday night's fatal collision near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong (AP) A half submerged boat is lifted out of the water after Monday night's fatal collision near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong (AP)

A British national was among the victims of the Hong Kong ferry disaster, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

Thirty-eight people were killed when pleasure cruiser the Lamma IV collided with a passenger ferry on Monday night.

The cruiser, which was carrying partygoers to a fireworks show to celebrate China's national day, sank shortly after the crash while the ferry limped to shore.

More than 100 people were taken to hospital after some were thrown into the water from the party boat. Hong Kong authorities said five children died in the crash.

An FCO spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that there was one British victim who died in the incident in Hong Kong and we are providing consular assistance to their family."

Seven crew from the two vessels have been arrested on suspicion of endangering passengers by operating the craft unsafely.

The passengers on board the pleasure cruiser had gathered on the island of Lamma, around two miles south west of Hong Kong island, to watch the fireworks display from the water, according to reports.

The majority of the 120 passengers were employees of Hong Kong Electric and their friends and family.

The crash was Hong Kong's deadliest accident in more than 15 years and its worst maritime accident in more than 40.

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