Cairo: With the recovery of five more bodies today from a sunken ferry in the Nile River in Egypt, the overall death toll in the tragedy rose to 36 as search operations continue for the third day to locate two missing passengers, the government said.
Following the collision between the ferry and a cargo boat on Wednesday night, the passenger boat sustained damage, causing it to sink in the river. Five more bodies have been recovered taking the overall death toll to 36, Al Ahram reported.
Head of the civil protection administration Magdy El-Shalaqany said that civil protection workers are still searching for the last two victims. He also said that there were nine survivors of the incident, five of whom are still hospitalised.
Earlier in the day, Egypt's health ministry had announced that the number drowned after the collision had risen to 33.
Over 35 passengers were estimated to have been aboard a chartered boat when it collided with a cargo ship near the shores of Al-Warraq district in Giza, causing the chartered boat to capsize.
The skipper of the cargo ship has been arrested and detained pending a probe into the incident.
The health ministry issued burial permits for 32 victims. The deceased remain in the hospital's morgue awaiting legal procedures, but the bodies should be delivered soon to their families, the ministry said.
On Thursday, locals angered by the deaths and families of those still missing blocked off a main road in the area where the boat sank and chanted anti-government slogans.
Boat accidents are not uncommon on the Nile or off Egypt's coast. They are often blamed on rickety crafts or loose enforcement of water traffic laws.
Last year, six people, including a child, were killed when their chartered boat collided with a bridge structure near downtown Cairo.
The country's deadliest boat accident occurred in February 2006 when a ferry sank in the Red Sea, killing more than 1,000 people.