Toll rises in Nile boat collision

Cairo, July 23 (IANS/AKI) The number of people killed when a pleasure boat hit a barge on Egypt’s Nile river has climbed to 21, the Al-Ahram daily said on its website on Thursday.

The accident took place late on Wednesday when the craft collided with a barge, near Giza, across the river from Cairo causing the boat to break up and sink.

The official toll in the accident was 14, according to a health ministry report quoted by state news agency Mena. Four people were injured.

The skipper of the barge has been arrested and will be detained for four days pending investigation into the incident, Al-Ahram reported.

Wednesday’s disaster was the latest in a string of accidents that take place every year off on the Nile and off the Egyptian coast every year, blamed on rickety boats and lax safety procedures.

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