Iraq News - Local News - Baghdadpost

Iraqi officials' late response for ferry sinking stirs anger

Iraqi President Barham Salih arrives at the scene where an overloaded ferry sank in the Tigris river near Mosul, Iraq March 22, 2019

Many Iraqi people has been in a state of anger as Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi has offered his condolences to the Iraqi people after seven hours of tragedy. Citizens have considered Abd al-Mahdi's delay as an undermining of the lives of Iraqis.

Moreover, President Barham Salih did not issue a statement of condolences until hours later. Amid waves of criticism, Parliament Speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi met with Abd al-Mahdi to consider some decisions concerning the tragedy.

Many of the victims including women and children could be seen struggling to swim against strong current, while their heads swaying in the water facing the restaurants and amusement parks where people celebrated Nowruz.



Captain Karim al-Obeidi of the Civil Defense chief said that the rescue teams recovered 82 bodies, while 30 people are still missing.

The Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq ordered suspending 9 workers, who were responsible for the ferry, and issued an arrest warrant against the owner of the ferry and owner of the island.

UN response

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres expressed his solidarity with Iraq, where the death of a hundred people when a ferry sank in the Tigris River is a great shock.

In a statement, the UN High Representative expressed sadness at the tragic loss of life after a passenger ferry capsized near Mosul.

Guterres sent his condolences to the victims families, the Government and the people of Iraq, and also wished a speedy recovery to the wounded.

The UN also reiterated its readiness to support national assistance efforts, as necessary.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi, this Friday decreed a three-day national mourning for the ferry tragedy on the Tigris River.

According to preliminary reports, the dead passengers included 61 women and 19 children who were celebrating the advent of the new Persian calendar year, the arrival of spring and the end of winter in the northern hemisphere.

The tragedy tarnished the resumption of the first festivities after the expulsion of terrorist groups from the area.

The sunk ship was carrying about 200 people who were crossing the Tigris to go to an excursion area to celebrate New Year's Day, Mother's Day, and to begin a vacation to mark the beginning of spring, according to media reports.

Local authorities, led by the Head of the Iraqi government, ordered an investigation to determine causes of the accident and the de facto responsibilities.

Last Modified: Saturday، 23 March 2019 01:19 AM