Saudis turn back 'unsafe' ferry

Saudi authorities have refused to allow passengers to board an Egyptian ferry deemed unsafe, days after another ferry sank killing hundreds of people.

    Some 900 people died when a ferry sank last week

    A Saudi port official said on Tuesday: "The ferry arrived in [the Saudi port of] Duba around midnight on Monday. We made our checks and found it was in a bad state. It was old."

    The ferry, called Al Salam 94, is owned by the same shipping firm that also owned Friday's sunken ferry.

    The ship had to return to the Egyptian port of Suez without passengers.

    The port official did not say how many passengers were affected or when they would travel.

    The other ship, the 35-year old Al Salam 98, sank early on Friday during a voyage across the Red Sea from Duba to the Egyptian port of Safaga. More than 900 people are feared to have died.
       
    The Jeddah port official said Saudi safety measures had been tightened after the disaster.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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