Miss Mabrouk of Egypt

Check the archives too - a lot of good stuff to enjoy. Me myself? Off to new adventures in the blogosphere, if time permits.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

1,300 Pilgrims Rescued from Sinking Ship

Yesterday,: two people died and at least 40 were injured after an Egyptian passenger ship carrying more than 1,300 Muslim pilgrims collided with a cargo ship and sank in the Gulf of Suez last night. Early reports suggested that panicked passengers were injured as they rushed to escape.

The accident happened at around 7.30pm after the vessel was struck by a Cypriot cargo ship at the southern entrance to the Suez canal. At least 12 rescue boats rushed to the stricken ship to try to save the 1,350 passengers, Egypt's transport minister said.

The incident did not force the closure of the 120-mile Suez canal, through which about 7.5% of world sea trade passes. Accidents are relatively frequent during pilgrimages to Mecca. Every year more than 2 million gather at the holy site for the Hajj and worshipping crowds can be at risk of turning into stampedes. In 2004, 250 people died following stampedes. In 1998, 180 people were crushed to death; in 1994, 270, while in 1990, 1,400 people died in stampedes. In 1997, 350 pilgrims died when fire swept through tents.

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