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Ferry sinks in Iraq’s Tigris River, leaving 100 dead

March 22, 2019 at 4:20 am

A ferry carrying families docks on March 21, 2019, at the site of a popular picnic area in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on the shores of the Tigris river, after a ferry sank leaving more than 70 people dead in Iraq’s worst accident in years on 21 March 2019 [Waleed AL-KHALED / AFP/Getty]

A ferry sank Thursday in Iraq’s Tigris River, leaving 100 people dead and dozens injured, Iraq’s Interior Ministry said in a written statement, Anadolu reports.

The boat was reportedly carrying 170 passengers to a small tourist island when it sank near Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province in northern Iraq.

Rescue teams have so far managed to pull at least 12 survivors from the river, according to local officials.

Victims’ bodies are reportedly being sent to medical facilities in Mosul for forensic analysis.

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Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi declared three days of national mourning shortly after visiting the scene.

Nine people have been detained in connection with the accident, according to a statement from Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council.

The council also issued arrest warrants for the owner of the ferry and the tourist island.

Although no official statement has been issued on the cause of the accident, local residents claim it may have occurred because the ferry was overcrowded with 170 passengers when it could only carry 50 at most.