Ferry sinks in Nile River, at least 15 drown

Egyptian search parties on Friday recovered an elderly man's body from the Nile River, bringing the death toll to 15 from the sinking of a small ferryboat on New Year's Eve, officials said. Two more people believed to have been on the boat were still missing.

The chief of the country's River Transport Authority, Reda Ismail, told the state MENA news agency that the ferry did not have a license to operate between the Nile Delta villages.

The boat sank late Thursday in the Nile Delta province of Kafr el-Sheikh. It was not immediately clear what had caused the accident. Afterward, angry villagers gathered on the banks of the Nile, but the police "contained the situation," MENA reported.

Egypt's social solidarity minister, Ghada Wali, ordered the payment of 10,000 Egyptian pounds (around $1,300) to the family of each of the people who drowned and 2,000 Egyptian pounds ($255) for the injured.

Egypt has frequent transportation accidents, mainly because of poor maintenance and the lack of regulations. Nile boat collisions and capsizing are common in Egypt. Last July, a passenger boat hit a scow, causing the boat to capsize and 35 people drowned. After the incident, officials vowed to better monitor Nile traffic and crack down on illegal sailors.

A ferry sinking in 2006 killed more than 1,000 people.