Iraq ferry sinking: 'More than 70 dead' in Tigris river

Iraq ferry sinking: 'More than 70 dead' in Tigris river

More than 70 people are reported to have died after a ferry sank in the Tigris river in Iraq's city of Mosul, BBC reports.

Most of the passengers on board could not swim, the head of Mosul's civil defence agency said. Reports suggest more than 100 people were on board.

The ferry was said to be heading towards a tourist island as part of Kurdish New Year celebrations.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has ordered an investigation "to determine responsibilities".

In a statement Mr Mahdi said he was following the story "with pain and sadness", and ordered "all state efforts" to find survivors and treat victims.

Dozens of people have been rescued so far, according to security sources.

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, called it a "terrible tragedy".

"Our hearts go out to the families and relatives of the victims," she wrote.