More than 90 people drowned in a ferry accident near the Northern Iraqi city of Mosul. 55 survivors had been rescued from the river Tigris, said the state news agency INA, citing the Interior Ministry.
Footage in the social media showed people, who were carried away by the strong current in the Tigris. Some clung to objects that floated in the water.
According to the authorities, most victims are women and children. They could not swim, said the head of civil defense in Mosul. Actually, they wanted to celebrate the Mother’s Day, which is celebrated today in the Arab world, and the upcoming Kurdish New Year „Newroz“ with a trip. Your destination: A popular island in the middle of the river Tigris, north of Mosul.
~200 instead of 50 people on board~
According to Iraqi media, the ship capsized because it was overloaded. MEP Abdal Rahim al-Shamari said the ferry was designed for 50 people, but had around 200 on board. Eyewitnesses said that the ship was also old. As it had rained a lot in the region in recent weeks, the water level of the Tigris is currently high, making rescue work difficult.
Mosul’s residents were called on social media to help save the victims. Also helicopters were in use.
The former megacity Mossul was overrun in the summer of 2014 by the terrorist militia „Islamic State“ (IS). Iraqi troops were able to rescue them in 2017 with air support from the international anti-IS coalition. However, large parts of the city are still badly damaged. The old city of Mosul was almost completely destroyed in the fight against the jihadists. The billion dollar reconstruction is progressing very slowly.