Ferry Crash in Sydney Injures 19 Passengers

A Sydney SuperCat ferry (file image courtesy H Peterswald)

By MarEx 2016-10-11 20:25:59

Nineteen passengers were injured in Sydney on Tuesday afternoon when a ferry failed to stop and struck its berth. 

Early accounts suggest that the vessel’s reverse propulsion would not engage.

Six people were hospitalized following the allision, and one person is believed to have suffered serious spinal injuries. All are reported to be in stable condition. 

"On arrival we found a number of people, many of them tourists [of] non-English speaking background, who had varying injuries, from suspected spinal injuries right to lumps and bumps, abrasions, what have you," a police spokesman told a local ABC affiliate. 

Passengers described mayhem on board and a chaotic scene as first responders helped the wounded. In a social media post, one of the passengers said that the vessel had struck the dock at significant speed, sending those on board flying. The witness reported that there was a doctor on board the ferry, who attended to the worst of the injuries until paramedics arrived.

Police and officers from Australia's Office of Transport Safety Investigations have quarantined the vessel and are examining the circumstances of the case. 

"Transport for New South Wales is working with Sydney Ferries operator Harbour City Ferries and will fully cooperate with OTSI to identify the cause of the incident," said a Transport for NSW spokesperson, speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The ferry, named the SuperCat 4, was arriving at Circular Quay in downtown Sydney on a route from Watsons Bay, at the mouth of Sydney's harbor. 

Two ferry departures were canceled after the crash.