January 12, 2008 / 7:15 AM / 12 years ago

Probe launched after HK-Macau ferries collide

Pansy Ho, daughter of Stanley Ho, the Macau tycoon who owns a high-speed ferry service between Macau and Hong Kong, listens to an unidentified man inside an emergency ward at a Macau hospital after two high-speed ferries collided in thick fog in mainland waters off Macau January 11, 2008. More than 100 passengers were injured, with at least a dozen seriously hurt, according to a Macau government spokesman. REUTERS/Stringer

HONG KONG (Reuters) - An investigation is under way after two high-speed ferries collided in dense fog between Hong Kong and Macau, injuring around 100 people, operator TurboJet said on Saturday.

Twenty-two people were still being treated in hospital after the incident, which happened on Friday night, the company said.

TurboJet, a joint venture of Shun Tak Holdings Ltd, said in a statement it would offer compensation to injured passengers on a case-by-case basis.

The crash occurred in mainland waters around 8:30 pm (7:30 a.m. EST) on Friday when the Funchal, making the hour-long trip from Hong Kong to Macau, and the Santa Maria, bound for Hong Kong, crashed into each other, the South China Morning Post reported.

Dense fog and low visibility were cited as reasons for the accident.

“About 100 people were injured, about a dozen of them severely. We are not sure what caused the accident but the heavy fog was one of the main reasons,” the SCMP quoted Macau Ports Authority spokeswoman Wong Soi-man as saying.

Ferries run regularly between Hong Kong and Macau, a former Portuguese-ruled enclave that has boomed as a gambling haven in recent years after Beijing loosened travel restrictions on Chinese tourists from dozens of cities.

Reporting by Joseph Chaney; Editing by Alex Richardson

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