Eighty-five people were injured when a Macau-bound jetfoil carrying more than 110 passengers and crew hit an unknown object off Hei Ling Chau early today.
A government spokesman said three men were in a serious condition and 46 others – 25 men and 21 men – were in a stable condition in six public hospitals.
The double-deck jetfoil was towed to the Hong Kong and Macau Ferry Terminal in Sheung Wan after the incident happened at east of Hei Ling Chau at 1.20am.
More than 20 ambulances were deployed to pick up the injured and send them to Queen Mary Hospital, Ruttonjee Hospital and Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital on Hong Kong Island and Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Caritas Medical Centre and Kwong Wah Hospital in Kowloon.
Fifteen passengers, including 11 men and four women, were admitted to Queen Mary Hospital.
Of them, eight have been discharged, and seven are still staying in the hospital.
There were 105 passengers and 10 crew members aboard.
A Hospital Authority spokeswoman said that some victims admitted to Queen Mary Hospital suffered from multiple injuries, and some were in serious condition.
A fire officer said no apparent damage was found on the vessel.
Three fireboats mounted a search at the scene but failed to find any object that could have been hit by the jetfoil.
“The object involved might have been broken into pieces and sunken or drifted away,” one fire officer said.
In a statement released by Turbojet today, the operator said: “Jetfoil “Madeira” departing Hong Kong for Macau at 1:00am collided with an unidentifiable object near Hei Ling Chau at about 1:15am.
“The vessel has been escorted back to Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal. Preliminary check revealed no significant damage on the vessel body. The company will cooperate closely with the authority to investigate the cause of the incident.” (macaunews)