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At least 28 ferry passengers were swept overboard in a powerful storm off the Solomon Islands, reports said Saturday, with the captain unaware he had lost anyone until the boat docked.
The passengers were heading from the capital Honiara to West Are'are, more than 120 kilometres (75 miles) away, under a government programme to evacuate people to their home villages during the global coronavirus epidemic.
The MV Taimareho set sail on Thursday night as tropical cyclone Harold bore down on the Solomons, and with weather forecasters warning against any unnecessary voyages.
But the captain ignored advice not to sail, the nation's leader said, as survivors reported dozens of people were swept overboard by huge waves and strong winds. Local media put the death toll at 28.
But police said it was impossible to verify the number.
"Initial reports say the captain of the boat had no knowledge of the missing people until he was informed when the boat arrived at her destination at Are'are," police marine department chief Charles Fox Sau said.
"At this stage we cannot confirm how many people are missing as the investigation into this sad incident continues."Agence France-Presse
Rescuers have deployed a helicopter and extended the search area to 20 nautical miles from where the boat sank in the search for the missing, Djunaidi said.
Search and rescue efforts were continuing after the fire on the M/V Lite Ferry 16 off Dapitan city in Zamboanga del Norte province, coast guard spokesman Armand Balilo said.
The government of Kiribati was accused on Friday of attempting to bury a damning report into the Pacific island nation’s worst ferry disaster, which claimed 81 lives last year.
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Minister of Tolerance and Co-Existence Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan has reiterated the commitment of the UAE leadership and its people to the pursuit of acceptance, forbearance, brotherliness and friendship.
In the details, a witness recorded in the video clip, a Kuwaiti citizen assaulting the worker, while he grabbed him by his clothes and beat him, shouting in his face, “a swindler.”
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, said: “We are working to achieve integration in our efforts to protect society from risks and facilitate trade movement not only at the local level but also at the global level, in cooperation with the security authorities in the relevant entities to present an international unique model that distinguishes Dubai on the world map”.