CAIRO: The death toll from this week’s boat collision was raised to 35 after more bodies have been rescued from the Nile River, the Ministry of Health announced Saturday.
Civil Protection Department in Giza, however, announced recovering 40 bodies since the boat capsized in the river Wednesday night after a scow crashed into it.
Conflicted numbers of casualties have been reported since the accident took place.
The scow captain and his assistant have been detained pending investigations on charges of “manslaughter.”
The cabinet also decided to toughen penalties against violators of river traffic rules.
Both the boat and scow drivers were blamed for the accident; the boat was overloaded and had sailed without a license, while scows are not allowed to sail at night.
Eyewitnesses accused the scow’s driver of “negligence” for not turning the lights on, which caused him to hit the boat.
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab decided, after a cabinet meeting, to dismiss heads of River Transport Authority and the General Administration of Water Bodies until the end of investigations into the accident.
The total number of passengers on board the boat has not been disclosed yet. The rescue team is still searching for bodies in the river.
Additional reporting by Hend Mokhtar and Wael Mohamed