China

Hong Kong Lamma Island boat crash captains charged

The Lamma IV pleasure boat, which partially sank off Hong Kong's Lamma island on Monday night, is recovered on Tuesday
Image caption The pleasure boat Lamma IV partially sank within minutes of the collision with the ferry

Hong Kong police have charged the captains of two vessels that collided off Hong Kong's Lamma Island last year with several counts of manslaughter.

The pleasure boat Lamma IV, and a high-speed ferry, the Sea Smooth, collided on 1 October last year.

The boat crash killed 39 people, including several children.

The collision was the worst maritime accident in Hong Kong for over 40 years.

In a statement, Hong Kong police said that both captains, aged 54 and 56, had been charged separately with 39 counts of manslaughter.

The two men are expected to appear before a court later on Thursday.

Five other crew members who were arrested following the accident will answer bail in mid-April, police said.

Transport accidents resulting in fatalities are extremely rare in Hong Kong, which has a highly regulated transport system.

The crash was Hong Kong's worst maritime accident since 1971, when an accident on a ferry left 88 people dead.

The government appointed a commission shortly after the crash to look into the cause of the collision. It is expected to present its findings later this month.

1. Hong Kong Electric boat departs power plant for firework display in Victoria Harbour

2. Ferry departs Hong Kong island on regular route to Lamma Island

3. Collision occurs north of Lamma Island. Damaged ferry continues to port at Yung Shue Wan. Lamma IV sinks.

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