The death toll from Thursday’s ferryboat accident in Iraq’s Tigris River near the city of Mosul has surpassed the 100-mark, according to local officials.
“The number of casualties has risen to 103, while an estimated 50 more remain missing,” Ghazwan al-Daoudi, a member of Nineveh’s provincial council, told Anadolu Agency on Friday.
“We believe the ferryboat was carrying about 200 passengers when it sank,” he added.
In the early hours of Friday, local authorities said that 55 survivors had been pulled from the river near Mosul, the regional capital of Nineveh province.
According to al-Daoudi, the provincial council will convene an emergency session later today in which “all those involved in the incident” would be present.
After visiting the scene of the accident, Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi announced three days of national mourning for the victims.
According to a statement released late Thursday by Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council, nine people have been detained so far in connection with the incident.
Although no official statements have been issued regarding the cause of the accident, local residents have attributed it to overcrowding, saying the ferryboat only had a 50-passenger capacity.
Writing By Ali H. M.Abo Rezeg