Friday, February 03, 2006

Egyptian Passenger Ferry Tragedy

This is not the first mass accident in the last few years that is caused by gross negligence. Who is responsible for taking care of these problems?

Gross precautionary negligence is not enough however, our authorities must add their own touches to make the tragedy even more complete:

SAFAGA, Egypt - An Egyptian passenger ferry carrying nearly 1,500 people, mostly Egyptian workers returning from Saudi Arabia, sank in the Red Sea early Friday. Coast Guard vessels pulled some 185 bodies from the sea, and at least 263 survivors escaped on lifeboats, officials said.

Four Egyptian rescue ships reached the scene Friday afternoon, about 10 hours after the 35-year-old ferry likely went down. As darkness descended Friday at the site, some 57 miles off the Egyptian port of Hurghada, there were fears the death toll could be extremely high.

There is more:

Rescue efforts appeared confused. Egyptian officials initially turned down a British offer to divert a warship to the scene to help out and a U.S. offer to send a P3-Orion maritime naval patrol aircraft to the area. The British craft, HMS Bulwark, headed toward from the southern Red Sea where it was operating, then turned around when the offer was rejected.

But then Egypt reversed itself and asked for both the Orion and the Bulwark to be sent - then finally decided to call off the Bulwark, deciding it was too far away to help, said Lt. Cdr. Charlie Brown of the U.S. 5th Fleet, based in Bahrain. In the end, the Orion - which has the capability to search underwater from the air - was sent, but the Bulwark was not, he said.

Do the authorities find it embarrassing to use the help of British and American warships to save its drowning citizens?

Apparently they find it more honourable to order our army not to return fire on armed Palestinians who invade Egypt and kill our soldiers.

Somebody is seriously confused.

*AP photos.

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