Source AP ©

Ferry loaded with 73 trucks and two cars sinks in Turkey

Military divers on Monday searched for five truck drivers reported missing after a ferry sank in the Sea of Marmara with about 100 people aboard. One person died.

The government said 89 people, including crew, either swam to shore or were pulled from the sea by coast guards or fishing boats. Of those rescued, 34 were hospitalized with injuries.

The "Hayat N" ferry - loaded with 73 trucks and two cars - went down in choppy waters about 15 minutes after it left the northwestern port of Bandirma for Istanbul at 11:30 p.m. (2030 GMT) Sunday.

Authorities said the ferry listed to one side, and then sank. Most of the passengers jumped into the sea, but authorities feared others may have been inside their vehicles when the ferry sank.

Helicopters with night vision equipment helped rescuers overnight, and on Monday about 20 military divers began searching for the missing, Bandirma Gov. Selahattin Hatipoglu said.

The 118-meter (390-feet) ferry was about 20 to 30 meters (65 to 100 feet) under water in the Marmara, which separates the Aegean and Black seas, Hatipoglu said.

Television footage showed a man with blood on his head, waiting to be treated. Coast guards lifted another man - who appeared to be unconscious - from a dinghy and handed him over to medics.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the accident. Hatipoglu said the waters had been rough, which may have contributed.

"The waves could have caused the trucks to move around," Hatipoglu said. "But this will become clear after the investigation."

TV news reports said authorities were also considering faulty loading.

Police detained the ship's captain for questioning, the Dogan news agency reported.

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