One dead, 4 missing, 101 rescued in ferry sink in northwestern Turkey

Hurriyet English with wires
15 Eylül 2008 - 08:40Son Güncelleme : 15 Eylül 2008 - 13:41

One person was killed, 101 people were rescued and four others are missing after a ferry sank near Turkey's northwest port of Bandirma in the Sea of Marmara, governor said. (UPDATED)

The roll-on roll-off ferry, loaded with 73 trucks and two cars, went down in the Sea of Marmara shortly after leaving Bandirma for Istanbul late on Sunday.

 

Of those rescued, 34 were hospitalized with injury.

 

"We cannot find five people. This increases the possibility that they are inside the ship," an official from the Maritime Undersecretariat earlier told reporters.

 

A 41-year-old man was confirmed dead. Military divers on Monday searched for truck drivers who were reported missing. 

 

Officials said the cause of the sinking was not immediately known, but that the ferry began leaning to one side as it pulled out of the port.

 

Most of the passengers jumped into the sea, but authorities fear others may have been inside their vehicles when the ferry sank. Some of the survivors swam to shore, private Dogan news agency (DHA) reported.

 

Passengers said the ship sank in about 15 minutes and that many of those on board were asleep in their vehicles before it began to go down. The ship left Bandirma at 11.15 p.m. (2015 GMT) on Sunday.

 

"It sank in 15 minutes after listing to its left side," one survivor, Melih Erim, said. "There was great panic and no one was in a position to help others... It was just like the Titanic disaster."

 

Some survivors blamed the accident on the crew, claiming the ferry was overloaded and already listing when it was leaving the port.

 

The ferry captain and two assistants were being questioned by police, Anatolia news agency said.

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