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Hong Kong begins official mourning for ferry victims

Published on Oct 4, 2012 11:39 AM

HONG KONG (AFP) - Flags flew at half mast around Hong Kong on Thursday at the start of three days of mourning for the 38 victims of a ferry collision which sent shockwaves through the Asian financial centre.

Chief executive Leung Chun Ying will lead senior officials in observing three minutes of silence at noon at the harbourside government headquarters, when schools and other public institutions will also fall silent.

Hong Kong's worst maritime accident in 40 years saw a high-speed ferry, the Sea Smooth, collide with a pleasure craft, the Lamma IV, carrying around 120 passengers on a trip to watch national day fireworks on Monday night.

British Prime Minister David Cameron sent his condolences to the victims after the consulate in the former British colony confirmed that an unidentified Briton was among the dead.

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