2019 Mosul ferry sinking

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

On 21 March 2019, a ferry carrying passengers on the Tigris River near Mosul capsized and sank,[1] killing 103 people,[2] 12 of them children.[3] The capsize was caused by overcrowding on-board the vessel, and by high water levels on the Tigris.[4] Many of the passengers were celebrating the Kurdish New Year.[1][5]


The sinking occurred on 21 March 2019 when a ferry carrying passengers sank in the Tigris river near Mosul. The vessel was carrying passengers to Umm al-Rabeein, an island upriver from the city, and was crowded with people celebrating Newroz. The ferry—which had a capacity of 50 passengers—was loaded with nearly 200 people.[2] On the voyage upriver, the ship began to founder, eventually capsizing and sinking. Over a hundred passengers drowned, while 55 were rescued by emergency services and the Iraqi military.[2] As of 22 March, over 50 passengers remain missing.[2]

Following the disaster, Mosulans began to protest against the owners of the ferry and against the local government, with much of the blame for the disaster being directed at Governor Nawfal al-Akoub. The sinking also prompted the Iraqi government to investigate allegations of corruption within the city's government. During a funeral ceremony near the site of the sinking, an angry crowd of protesters confronted Governor al-Akoub, with some protesters eventually throwing insults and bricks at the governor.[6] The governor's vehicle later ran over several people during his escape from the crowd, further inflaming tensions and leading to more calls to replace al-Akoub. A week later Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi requested that the Iraqi parliament remove al-Akoub as governor, which the body did on 24 March.[6][7]


  1. ^ a b "Overloaded ferry sinks in Tigris River near Iraq's Mosul, killing 71". NBC News. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  2. ^ a b c d "Families demand justice as toll in Mosul boat disaster hits 103". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
  3. ^ Alkhshali, Hamdi; Altaher, Nada; Qiblawi, Tamara. "Death toll rises to 92 after ferry capsizes in Iraq's Tigris River". www.cnn.com. CNN. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  4. ^ CNN, Hamdi Alkhshali, Nada Altaher and Tamara Qiblawi. "Ferry capsizes in Iraq's Tigris river killing 71". CNN. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  5. ^ "Scores dead as ferry sinks in Tigris River near Iraq's Mosul". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  6. ^ a b "Iraq ex-governor wanted after ferry sinking". 2019-03-27. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  7. ^ "Iraq's parliament fires governor over Mosul ferry disaster". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2019-03-28.