Horrifying footage shows ferry packed with Iraqi revellers capsizing, killing 94, as president rushes to Mosul ahead of three days of mourning
- WARNING DISTRESSING CONTENT: The ferry, carrying around 100 people, sank in the Tigris river in Iraq on
- People on ferry were celebrating Nowruz, an ancient Persian new year festival
Distressing footage has emerged showing the moment a ferry with a 'technical problem' capsized in the Tigris River near the northern city of Mosul, killing 94 people.
The ferry capsized on Thursday with scores of people on board, including dozens of families with children.
The short clip shows water flooding over the barriers of the packed vessel, which eventually overturns as the passengers scramble to get across to the other side.
Iraq's President Barham Saleh has rushed to meeting with accident officials, while search teams continue their efforts to find more bodies.
The ferry was overcrowded with celebrating both Mother's Day, as well as Nowruz, the Persian New Year on Thursday, March 21
The ferry was full of holidaymakers celebrating Mother's Day, as well as Nowruz, the Persian New Year, which also fell on March 21 this year.
Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has ordered an investigation into the sinking and thus briefly visited Mosul, where he named three days of national mourning.
Meanwhile the country's judicial authorities have ordered the arrest of nine workers operating the ferry.
The men were detained and arrested warranted by the owner of the tourist island where it was headed.
Col. Hussam Khalil, head of civil defense in the northern Nineveh province, said the ferry sank because of a technical problem and that there were not many boats in the area to rescue drowning passengers.
The ferry reportedly due to a technical problem but the situation was worse at the high water level in the Tigris River after a particularly wet rainy season  Col. Hussam Khalil, head of civilian defense in the northern Nineveh province, also said there were not many boats in the area to rescue drowning passengers. Hussam Khalil, head of civil defense in the northern Nineveh province, also said there were not many boats in the area to rescue drowning passengers ” class=”blkBorder img-share” />
Col. Hussam Khalil, head of civil defense in the northern Nineveh province, also said there were not many boats in the area to rescue drowning passengers
The Tigris river's level was higher than usual after a rainy season that brought more downpours than previous years .
Interior Ministry spokesman May. Gen. Saad Maan placed the death toll from the accident at 94, adding that having been rescued, including 19 children.
Earlier, a health ministry official said the dead included at least 33 women, 12 children and 10 men.
The sinking appeared against a backdrop of fairground rides including a ferris wheel and small roller coaster as revellers celebrated the ancient Persian festival of Nowruz.
Scene of the accident: The Tigris river in Mosul where a ferry carrying around 100 people sank during Kurdish new year celebrations
Two people swam across the river in a bid to rescue people from the ferry while a group of women watch on from the shore
Also known as the Persian new year, Nowruz marks the arrival of spring.
The holiday dates back to at least 1700 BC and incorporate ancient Zoroastrian traditions.
It is the most important event in the Iranian calendar and is widely celebrated across the territories of the old Persian Empire, from the Mideast to Central Asia.