Hong Kong ferry captain jailed for collision that left 39 dead

World Today

Hong Kong Ferry AccidentThe captain of the Hong Kong commuter ferry that collided with another boat, killing 39 people, was found guilty of manslaughter on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015 local media reported. A nine-member jury also found Lai Sai-ming guilty of endangering the safety of others at sea, in what was Hong Kong’s biggest maritime tragedy in decades, the South China Morning Post newspaper and Radio Television Hong Kong said. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

A Hong Kong ferry captain was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison for the deaths of 39 people in a 2012 accident that was the southern Chinese coastal city’s biggest maritime disaster in decades.

A judge sentenced Lai Sai-ming after his conviction Saturday on charges of manslaughter and endangering the safety of others at sea, according to a Department of Justice spokeswoman.

The captain of the other boat involved in the collision, Chow Chi-wai, was given a nine-month sentence. He was cleared by a jury of manslaughter but convicted of endangering others at sea.

All of those killed, including eight children, and most of the nearly 100 injured were aboard Chow’s boat.

The two captains had blamed each other for the Oct. 1, 2012, collision, which came as a shock to the former British colony, renowned for efficient and safe public transport networks.

The verdicts came down after a 60-day trial and four days of deliberations.

This report compiled with information from The Associated Press