Hong Kong authorities on Monday were yet to determine the mystery object that a high-speed ferry hit near Lantau island on Sunday evening when it was on its way back to Hong Kong from Macau, Hong Kong government broadcaster RTHK reported on Monday night.
The accident left 124 people injured.
Authorities said an inspection on Monday morning showed that the hull under both engine rooms was damaged.
According to South China Morning Post a one-meter diameter rubber tyre floating in the sea was suspected of causing the ferry crash.
Officials from the Marine Department inspected the jetfoil, Horta, after it was towed back to the Cheung Sha Wan dock.
A department spokeswoman said they found the hull under the two main engine rooms was damaged.
Shun Tak Group, which co-owns the company Turbojet, said the engine rooms took on water after the collision. The company said the high-speed ferry passed its yearly inspection in March, and the captain had 27 years of experience in operating the Macau-Hong Kong route.
According to RTHK, more than 30 people were still in hospital on Monday’s night following Sunday night’s accident near Lantau involving a ferry. Five of them were reported to be in critical condition and five others were in serious condition.