More than 80 injured after high-speed Hong Kong ferry hits 'unidentified object'

Hong Kong government said at least three of the people on board who were taken to hospital were in a serious condition

Around 87 people have been hurt after a high-speed ferry travelling from Hong Kong to Macau hit an "unidentified object", officials have said.

The Hong Kong government said at least three of the people on board who were taken to hospital were in a serious condition.

The hydrofoil, carrying 107 passengers and 10 crew, struck the object at 1:15 a.m. Friday near Hei Ling Chau, a small island in waters on the western side of Hong Kong. The vessel was later towed to a local terminal, reports said.

The Hospital Authority said in a statement that 58 people were discharged while two remained in serious condition and 27 others were stable.

Shun Tak Holdings, which owns the TurboJet ferry company, said a "preliminary check revealed no significant damage on the vessel body."

The Marine Department said it was investigating the accident, which has not affected sea traffic in the area.

The incident comes just over a year after 39 people died and 100 were injured in Hong Kong's biggest maritime tragedy in decades when a commuter ferry collided with a smaller boat. The tragedy in October last year came as a shock to Hong Kong. The southern Chinese city prides itself on safety and efficiency and has one of Asia's most advanced infrastructures and economies, with first-rate public services.

Fleets of ferries in the former British colony form the backbone of its transportation network, running frequently to outlying islands, mainland Chinese ports and the nearby Asian gambling hub of Macau.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press

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