A ferry overloaded with people celebrating the Kurdish new year sank in the Tigris River near the Iraqi city of Mosul on Thursday, killing at least 72, as per the latest official toll
The Iraqi Obervatory had earlier reported the toll at 65 people, mostly women and children, with 30 people missing.
Col. Hussam Khalil, head of the Civil Defense in the northern Nineveh province, said the accident occurred as scores of people were out in a tourist area celebrating Nowruz, which marks the Kurdish new year and the arrival of spring.
Health Ministry spokesman Seif al-Badr said the dead include 33 women, 12 children and 10 men. He said 30 people were rescued, adding that search operations are still underway as it is not known how many people were aboard the ferry.
Khalil said the ferry sank because of a technical problem, and that there weren’t many boats in the area to rescue people.
The river’s level was high because of a rainy season that brought more precipitation than in previous years.