Over 80 injured in Japan whale collision
The two-deck ferry was carrying 103 passengers and five crew when the accident happened on Sunday evening.india Updated: Apr 10, 2006 10:03 IST
At least 86 people were injured, some seriously, when a high-speed Japanese ferry collided with an object which passengers said they believed was a whale, a coastguard official said on Monday.
The two-deck ferry was carrying 103 passengers and five crew when the accident happened on Sunday evening as it headed to Ibusuki on the southern tip of Japan's main western island of Kyushu.
Initially, officials reported 49 injuries including roughly a dozen people who were seriously injured.
"The number of injuries has risen as we continue the investigation.
The number of those in a serious condition also appears to have risen," said a Japan Coastguard official.
He said the ship had been towed to the port of Yamakawa and that an investigation was under way to find out exactly what happened.
Some passengers and crew told investigators they believed the 165-ton boat might have crashed into a whale, the official said.
The impact was so strong that the ferry was disabled.
Ships operating in the waters where the accident took place often collide with whales but the incidents are usually not serious, said the ferry operator.