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At least 72 killed as overloaded ferry sinks in Iraq's Tigris river

Search and rescue operations are being carried out with a helicopter around the site after a ferryboat sank in Iraq's Tigris River on Thursday.
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

At least 72 people died when an overloaded ferry sank in the Tigris river near Mosul in Iraq, medical sources told Reuters on Thursday.

Most of the casualties on the ferry were women and children who could not swim, said the head of Mosul's Civil Defence Authority Husam Khalil.

A separate source in the Civil Defenae Authority said the boat had been loaded with twice its capacity, causing it to capsize.

Mobile phone footage showed the ferry sinking into the muddy water and people shouting for help.

The rescue team was retrieving survivors and had rescued 12 people so far, Khalil said.

Police and medical sources said earlier at least 40 people had drowned. A source in a nearby hospital and another in a morgue said the toll had risen to 72.

The accident took place to the north of the city, near a recreational area popular with families.

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