57 passengers died in Bahrain ferry accident

At least 57 passengers died after a passenger ferry carrying about 150 people on a company outing capsized and sank Thursday night in a narrow channel off the Bahrain coast, officials said.

The island kingdom's Interior Ministry said 67 passengers had been rescued, at least 12 of whom were injured.

"We're still not really sure about the nationalities," said Tariq Hassan, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry. He added that an investigation will be conducted into the sinking, which occurred about 9:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. ET).

Officials are trying to determine what caused the ship to sink in clear weather less than a mile off the Bahraini coast, near the capital Manama.

Witnesses said the boat sank on its way back into port, according to the British Foreign Office.

Bahraini officials said there was no indication the boat was attacked. Without elaborating, they said only that the boat experienced a "technical" problem.

Twelve of those rescued were injured and taken to a Bahraini hospital, according to the Interior Ministry.

Information Minister Muhammad Abdul Ghaffar said he estimates that the passengers included 25 Britons, 10 South Africans, 20 Filipinos, 10 Egyptians and 10 Bahrainis.

It was his understanding that the passengers worked for the same company and were on an evening dinner cruise scheduled to last a couple of hours, Ghaffar said. He added that the company was based in Bahrain, reports CNN.


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