Four dead, several missing in Egypt ferry crush

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CAIRO, Oct 14 (Reuters) Egyptian rescue workers recovered four bodies and several people were missing today after a crush sent passengers boarding a ferry spilling into the Nile, the interior ministry said.

An unidentified ministry official told the official West Asia News Agency (MENA) the dead included three children.

Five other people were slightly injured in the accident in the province of Minya in central Egypt, some 200 km south of Cairo, he said.

Minya Governor Fouad Saadeddin said seven people were unaccounted for.

''The current was so strong, so bodies could have drifted away from the site of the accident,'' Saadeddin told Egyptian state-run television.

He said the final death toll would not be known until after the completion of rescue efforts, which were suspended once darkness fell. Several security officials said at least 10 people were missing.

MENA quoted Saadeddin as saying a large number of passengers were trying to get on the ferry when a ramp linking it to the river bank collapsed. Security officials said one of the boat's railings also collapsed, sending more people into the water.

One security official had earlier put the death toll at 10.

Television footage showed dozens of local residents gathered at the site watching police divers search for survivors.

Reuters CS VP0245

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