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Hong Kong boat collision leaves 38 injured

Thirty-eight people were injured when two boats collided late Wednesday in Hong Kong, authorities said, the latest accident to hit the city's busy waterways.

HONG KONG: Thirty-eight people were injured when two boats collided late Wednesday in Hong Kong, authorities said, the latest accident to hit the city's busy waterways.

Authorities said the collision occurred just off the outlying island of Cheung Chau between a mainland Chinese vessel and a high speed ferry.

"A Macau ferry collided with a vessel from the mainland. Thirty-eight passengers on the Macau ferry were slightly injured and sent to Cheung Chau hospital," a government spokeswoman told AFP, adding that emergency responders were on their way.

Passenger ferries regularly cover the hour-long distance between Hong Kong and Macau.

Authorities were unable to confirm whether anybody was missing or whether the boats had returned safely to shore. They were notified of the incident at 11:00 pm, (1515 GMT) the spokeswoman said.

Earlier this month, 11 crew members from a Chinese cargo ship went missing after it collided with a container vessel and sank just outside Hong Kong waters.

In November of last year, a high-speed ferry travelling from Hong Kong to Macau collided with an "unidentified object" injuring 87 people and raising new concerns over maritime safety.

It came a year after a ferry crash claimed 39 lives -- the city's worst maritime disaster for more than 40 years.

The deadly collision between a high-speed ferry and a pleasure boat shocked the Asian financial hub, which prides itself on its good safety record.

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