There have been clashes between riot police and relatives of victims of the Egyptian ferry disaster. As rumours continue to circulate about what caused the ship to sink and the crew’s reaction, hundreds of people stormed security barriers set up around the port of Safaga. Rescue workers have recovered nearly 200 bodies from the Red Sea and saved 400 people, but around 800 others are missing.
The ferry had been carrying some 1,300 people from Duba in Saudi Arabia when it went down 100 kilometres from Safaga. Survivors say a fire broke out below deck shortly after the vessel left the Saudi port on Thursday night. Many passengers claim they sounded the alarm but the captain told them not to worry, and the vessel continued sailing for two hours despite listing to one side.
Some on board say the crew asked them to remove or withheld their lifejackets. An explosion reportedly occurred and then the ferry sunk within five minutes. It remains unclear why coastguards did not appear to have received any distress signal. Earlier, the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak visited some of the injured in hospital in the port city of Hurghada. As the investigation goes on, hopes are fading of finding any of the missing people.