Update: Details on Hong Kong's Fatal Ship Collision Emerge, Recovery Continues

Published Oct 3, 2012 4:03 PM by The Maritime Executive

Details on Hong Kong’s fatal ship collision are beginning to slowly emerge throughout the week, although investigators estimate that it will take about six months to pin who exactly was response for the incident that left nearly 40 people dead.

Original report: Passenger Vessel Collision Results in One of Hong Kong's Most Deadly Maritime Accidents [VIDEO]

As rescue crews continue to search for victims and investigators search through the wreckage, residents are in mourning.

Now, two days after the crash, its cause remains unclear. An official investigation to establish the cause and who is responsible is, again, being launched.

The death toll remains at 38 as of now; all were passengers on the sightseeing vessel, owned by Hongkong Electric Co. Local photos taken of the boat after it was lifted from the water showed the stern crushed and partly missing, indicating it was possibly hit from behind. Photos of the ferry luckily only show damage to the front left, and none of its passengers were severely affected.

Hong Kong & Kowloon Ferry Holdings Ltd. now has to defend itself against accusations that the ferry's captain should have stayed to help rescue Hongkong Electric passengers. The company argues that blame should not be assigned before an investigation is concluded. The company also denied suggestions that the captain, who had worked a 10-hour shift that day, was overly tired. The ferry in question, Sea Smooth, had been checked for seaworthiness in September.

Police have arrested a total of seven people thus far, including the captains and crew members of each boat, on suspicion of endangering passengers' safety. All have been released on bail and required to report back to the police in mid-October, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Read the original report on this incident HERE.