At least 40 dead as ferry capsizes in Iraq river

At least 40 people have died, including nine children, as an overcrowded ferry capsized in Iraq’s Tigris river in Mosul.

Nearly 150 people were on board, including over 80 women and children, according to health ministry spokesman Saif al-Badr.

The ferry was transporting people from a bank of the river to a small tourist island. It capsized halfway because of high water levels in the river, according to Nineveh mayor, Abd al-Sattar Habu.

Rescue teams were able to recover 40 bodies from the river, and search operations are still ongoing, he said.

“The Department of Water Resources warned a few days ago that the level of water will rise as a result of the opening of dams,” Habu added.

The ferry was loaded with over twice the permitted capacity, Civil Defense General Manager Brigadier Malik Bohan told state-owned Al Iraqiya.

More to follow.