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President Hu sends condolences over Egypt ferry disaster
Latest Updated by 2006-02-05 09:14:49
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Chinese President Hu Jintao on Saturday sent separate messages of condolences to the leaders of Egypt and Saudi Arabia after the Egyptian ferry Al Salaam 98 carrying some 1,400 people aboard sank in the Red Sea.

In the messages, Hu, on behalf of the Chinese government and people and in his own name, offered the deepest condolences over the loss of life in the ferry tragedy in which hundreds were feared drowned.

The Chinese president also extends his sincerest sympathies to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, to the governments and peoples of the two countries and to the bereaved families and survivors.

The Egyptian ship Al Salaam 98, with 1,310 passengers and 104 crew members, 22 cars, 16 trucks on board, disappeared from the radar screens shortly after it left the Saudi port of Dubah at 7:30 p.m. local time (1630 GMT) on Thursday.

Rescuers have already recovered 185 bodies and at least 293 passengers have been rescued. Enditem

314 people found alive in Egypt ship accident

An Egyptian official said Saturday that naval forces have rescued 314 people of el-Sallam 98 ferryboat which sank in the Red Sea overnight on Friday.

Major General Mahfouz Taha, director of the Authority of Red Sea ports, said some of the survivors were taken from the ferry's lifeboats, others from inflatable rescue craft dropped into the sea by helicopters, and others were pulled from the water wearing life jackets.

Relatives of the passengers wait for messages at the entrance to a ferry company Feb. 3.

Relatives of the passengers wait for messages at the entrance to a ferry company Feb. 3. (Xinhua)

Four Egyptian rescue ships reached the scene Friday afternoon, about 10 hours after the 35-year-old ferry likely went down some 95 km off the Egyptian port of Hurghada.

The ship, Al Salaam 98, with 1,310 passengers and 104 crew members, 22 cars, 16 trucks aboard, disappeared from the radar screen shortly after it left the Saudi port of Dubah at 7:30 p.m. local time (1630 GMT) on Thursday.

The ship should have arrived at its destination of Safaga, an Egyptian Red Sea port some 600 km southeast of the capital Cairo, at 2:30 a.m. (0030 GMT) on Friday.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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