A total of 121 people were injured on Sunday night, 14 of them seriously, when a high-speed ferry returning from Macau hit an “unidentified object” south of Lantau Island.
The Turbojet lost power after the accident and water began seeping in as passengers scrambled in the dark for lifejackets.
“Some people sustained injuries to their jaws, arms and legs,” one passenger said on the pier in Central after being plucked to safety by marine police.
“Some could not even move. The lights suddenly went out. It was chaotic at first but then the passengers managed to calm down soon. Everyone was bleeding. I was injured on my forehead, arms and legs.”
Police received a call at about 7pm that the ferry – carrying 163 passengers and 11 crew – had slammed into an object near Siu A Chau, one of the Soko Islands.
Photos taken after the collision and circulated on social media showed some passengers sprawling on the ground having been knocked to the ground while others scrambled around trying to put on their lifejackets.
Television footage showed that the first group of passengers to be rescued by marine police vessels reached the Central ferry piers at around 8.30pm. Some were wearing oxygen masks as they were lifted into ambulances and taken to hospital.
The latest emergency comes just two weeks after a fire broke out in the engine room of a Turbojet ferry from Macau that was carrying 134 passengers – all of them were safely evacuated.
In June last year, 70 people were injured when a ferry from Hong Kong slammed into a breakwater off Macau’s main ferry terminal.
A cross-border jetfoil carrying more than 80 airport-bound passengers from the mainland collided with a container ship in thick fog off Tuen Mun in February last year.