Survivors from the pilgrim ship Patra -- which sank in the Red Sea on Friday (24 December) -- were receiving treatment in a Cairo hospital on Sunday (26 December).
SV Mr. Shawki receiving treatment
SV Mr. Abu Kharim receiving treatment and speaking to reporters
SCU Mr. Hassan speaking to reporters (2 shots)
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Background: Survivors from the pilgrim ship Patra -- which sank in the Red Sea on Friday (24 December) -- were receiving treatment in a Cairo hospital on Sunday (26 December).
SYNOPSIS: 36-year-old Mukhtar Sawki from Jordan was one of the survivors who were treated at the Elbakry hospital. He, like most of the other passengers on the Patra, was returning home from the annual Moslem pilgrimage to Mecca -- the Hajj. The Patra sank about 50 miles north of Jeddah after a fire broke out in the engine room.
Another survivor, Hassan Hassan from Cairo, told reporters that the tragedy was made worst because many of passengers refused to abandon ship. He said some were frightened to save themselves, because their personal belongings were still on board. The ship's captain, Mohammed Shabban Hammad, backed up Mr. Hassan's statements. He said he'd commanded crew members to "beat up" some passengers to make them obey his orders to leave the vessel. "Many wouldn't leave because they had imported goods on board. Some said these are our life savings and we will die with the ship," he added.
Captain Hammad said some passengers had used their lifebelts to keep things like television sets afloat, while they themselves were in grave difficulty. No official statement has been made on the number of casualties, but some Cairo newspapers are claiming that 95 people are still missing.