Tourist ferry sinks off Bahrain coast; at least 44 dead

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Map highlighting Bahrain.

At approximately 8 p.m. EEST (1700 UTC) in Bahrain, a ferry that was believed to have been carrying about 150 tourists and locals was reported missing and overturned off the coast of Bahrain, near the Sheikh Khalifa Causeway Bridge, Sitra. The United States Fifth Fleet has been called in to help with the rescue.

Earlier reports from Reuters stated that at least 40 bodies had been found, but ABC News reported that at least 44 are dead.

"There are 52 survivors and there are also 44 dead (bodies) that were retrieved. So far, the (rescue) operations continue. God willing, there will be more survivors rescued," said Bahrain's Interior Minister Abdulla Al Khalifa.

One resident said, "I have seen at least 48 bodies," and ABC News reported at least 44 dead. However, "many on board were rescued," a Bahraini official was quoted as saying.

"The first report we received was that a Dhow (a wooden boat) has capsized. We are preparing a helicopter to join the rescue. There is no initial indication that this was an attack," said a U.S. Navy spokesman.

Sources

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