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November 7, 2009

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Two Dutch tourists die in ship collision

TWO Dutch tourists were confirmed dead and nine other people injured after a passenger ship collided with a coal-carrying vessel off south China's Guangdong Province late Thursday, the local maritime authority said.

The identities of the dead Dutch tourists were not immediately available.

Two of the injured, both women, were also confirmed as Dutch nationals. They are being treated in the Panyu Central Hospital in the province's Panyu City.

"One of the women injured her spine, and the other received minor facial injuries," said Liang Xinmin, deputy director of the hospital's emergency treatment department.

The women asked to return to the Netherlands for further treatment, said Liang.

The hospital has received six of the injured. Four of them are locals from Guangdong.

Two of the other three injured, taken to the Hexian Hospital in Panyu, have been discharged. The one remaining in hospital, with severe fractures, has been confirmed to be a Hong Kong resident, said a hospital spokesperson.

A provincial maritime affairs bureau statement said all the casualties occurred on the passenger ship. Nobody on the coal freighter was hurt.

The statement said the passenger ship from Panyu City, Guangdong, took 75 passengers from a port in Hong Kong at 6:10pm on Thursday, and was en route back to Guangdong, when the accident occurred, around 8pm.

According to an initial investigation, the bow of the freighter hit the port side of the passenger ship as they were moving toward each other in a sea lane near Lianhuashan Port in Panyu.


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