Crowd trashes offices of disaster ferry company

Hundreds of relatives of passengers drowned on a Red Sea ferry attacked the offices of the owners today, throwing its furniture into the street and burning the company’s signboard.

Hundreds of relatives of passengers drowned on a Red Sea ferry attacked the offices of the owners today, throwing its furniture into the street and burning the company’s signboard.

Riot police intervened and fired tear gas to restore order.

The mob broke into the offices of El Salam Maritime in the Egyptian Red Sea port of Safaga early in the morning and began throwing everything out into the street.

The rioters took a large photo of one of the company’s ferries and burned it in the middle of the road. They also tore down the company’s signboard from the front of the building and set it on fire.

After the police secured the offices, one civilian was seen holding his head in pain. It was not immediately known how he was injured.

Some relatives set fires to tyres on roads leading to the port, effectively closing the roads.

El Salaam owned the Al-Salaam Boccaccio 98 which sank in the dark hours of Friday morning while sailing across the Red Sea from Saudi Arabia to the Egyptian port of Safaga with more than 1,400 passengers and crew.

Only 401 of those on board are known to have survived. Most of the passengers were low-income Egyptians returning from work in Saudi Arabia.

Relatives of the passengers have complained bitterly that the company failed to inform them about who had drowned and who had survived.

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