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Accidents raise safety questions on Hong Kong waters

Published on Jul 6, 2014 12:29 PM
This picture taken on June 30, 2014 shows boats in Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is one of the world's busiest ports, with a growing number of container ships vying with fishing boats in ever-shrinking waters, but a spate of accidents in recent years has led to questions over marine safety. -- PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG (AFP) - Hong Kong is one of the world's busiest ports, but as a growing number of container ships compete with fishing boats for space in an ever-shrinking harbour, a spate of accidents has raised fears for maritime safety.

The city, whose name means "fragrant harbour" in the Cantonese dialect, is as famous for its crowded shipping lanes as it is for its bustling streets.

But a fatal collision between a local ferry and small pleasure boat in October 2012 left 39 people dead and sparked an investigation that discovered a "litany of errors" contributed to the tragedy.

Since then, a number of other incidents - including two high-speed ferry accidents that injured scores of passengers, and the grounding of a large container ship - have left those who ply Hong Kong's waters worried.

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