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All passengers, crew safe after Canadian ferry sinks
Latest Updated by 2006-03-23 14:25:41
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All passengers, crew safe after Canadian ferry sinks

All 101 passengers and crew have been accounted for after the ferry sank off the north coast of Canada's British Columbia early on Wednesday.

"The Queen of the North" began listing after she hit rocks shortly before 1 a.m. local time (9 a.m. GMT) on Wednesday, about 135 kilometers from Prince Rupert, reports reaching here said.

Many passengers were asleep when the incident occurred. It took about an hour for the ferry to sink, giving passengers time to scramble into lifeboats in choppy seas, said Coastguard Cpt. Leah Byrne.

Fishing boats from nearby communities, a helicopter and several coast guard vessels responded to the distress call.

The ship is now completely submerged. Officials are waiting for one more rescue ship carrying survivors to arrive in Hartley Bay, a community roughly 120 kilometers south of Prince Rupert, where other passengers have been taken.

The ferry had been making the 450-kilometre journey from Prince Rupert south to Port Hardy when the incident happened. The 125-metre long ship could holad up to 700 people and 115 cars.

Clare Hill, a bed and breakfast owner who is helping take care of survivors at the Hartley Bay community centre, told reporters that the passengers were shaken but seemed fine. A few survivors reported minor injuries, such as a wrist injury and a gashed head.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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