Sunday, February 05, 2006

Baheya's post about the ferry disaster

(Note, September, 2006.
This post is getting a lot of hits lately. I don't think that many people are really interested in Egyptian politics.
If you are looking for the Lebanese dancer by the same name, keep looking. This is not THAT Baheya.)

She is, in my opinion and that of many, the best blogger in English regarding all things Egyptian. Today's post looks at the ferry disaster that took the lives of nearly a thousand people last week. Very sad story, indeed. Best account to be found in one place. Pictures and links.

It is one of the worst disasters in Egyptian maritime history. At or around midnight on friday, the ferry As-Salam 98, carrying 1,414 passengers from Saudi Arabia to Safaga, sank in the Red Sea after a fire broke out on the car deck. Flooding occurred during the firefighting, causing the vessel to list and then capsize. No distress signals were sent from the ship, and search and rescue operations were launched seven hours after it sank.
...The stories of the
survivors are chilling. "There was a blaze down below," said survivor Nader Galal Abdel Shafi. "The crew said 'Don't worry, we will put it out.' When things got really bad the crew just went off in the lifeboats and left us on board."
...Like the spate of other recent transport-related disasters, almost all of the passengers were working people who made their living in Gulf countries (some were pilgrims returning from Makka). Survivors and relatives said many of them were bringing back sometimes years' worth of savings.

Read about this.
Then Count. Your. Blessings.

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