MINYA, Egypt – Sixteen people, including six children, died Saturday when a microbus they were riding in fell off a rickety ferry and sank in the Nile River in southern Egypt, security and local officials said.
The accident happened because the bus driver did not use the emergency brakes to prevent the vehicle from moving as the ferry carried it from the river's east bank to the west bank near the village of Deir Mawas in Minya province about 130 miles (209 kilometers) south Cairo, said Minya police chief, Mahmoud Noureddin.
"The microbus fell off the ferry, and all its passengers were killed," said Minya Governor Fouad Saad Eddin.
Rescue workers retrieved 13 bodies, including the microbus driver, and were searching for the three others Saturday afternoon, the governor said.
Another bus that was on the ferry reached the river's other side safely, he said.
The two microbuses carried men, women and children of one extended family who were heading to visit their relatives, according to the governor.
During the three-day Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, Egyptians usually return to their hometowns to visit family and cemeteries to pay their respects.
Ferry, railway and road accidents are common in Egypt mainly because of poor maintenance and the lack of regulations.