03/10/2012 03:06 BST | Updated 02/12/2012 05:12 GMT

Hong Kong Ferry Collision Claims Life Of British National

A British national was among the victims of the Hong Kong ferry disaster, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

38 people were killed and around 100 passengers were injured when two passenger ferries collided off Lamma island on Monday night. Five children died in the crash.

Seven crew members were arrested on Tuesday morning for endangering people lives at sea after one of the city's worst maritime disasters in history.

An FCO spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that there was one British victim who died in the incident in Hong Kong and we are providing consular assistance to their family."

One of the boats belonged to the HongKong Electric Company and was carrying 120 workers and their families to a fireworks display in Victoria Harbour, as part of celebrations for China's National Day.

hong kong ferry

Hong Kong's busy shipping channels were even more crowded that usual, amidst celebrations for China's national day

The vessel hit another passenger ferry off Lamma Island, south west of Hong Kong, at around 8.20pm local time on Monday.

The HK Electric ferry quickly began to fill with water. Survivors had little time to put on their life jackets as the boat began to list and 28 people were declared dead at the scene, reported the BBC.

The other boat, which had around 100 people on board, managed to make it back to the port relatively undamaged. However a number of passengers were treated for minor injuries, reported Reuters.

hong kong ferry

It one of the city's worst maritime disasters

A Hong Kong government statement said on Tuesday: "Over 100 people were sent to five hospitals during the incident; nine of them have sustained serious injuries or are in critical condition."

Dive teams, helicopters and boats were involved in the extensive rescue operation.

Hong Kong is famed for its deep natural harbour and is surrounded by some of the busiest shipping routes in the world, but the city boasts an advanced infrastructure and well-regulated ports, making shipping collisions a rare occurrence.

Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung has promised an investigation into the accident.