Around 12.46am on Thursday morning, a packed Hainan passenger ferry en route to Guangdong province hit a steel-carrying freighter, sinking it. Three of the people aboard were rescued, while the search for the remaining two continues, GB Times reports.
The ferry, which held over 970 people and 140 vehicles, docked safely at its port around 6am Thursday. The cause of the collision is still being investigated.
This past week, the typical torrent of Chinese New Year travelers returning from Hainan Island to the mainland was reduced to a trickle due to foggy weather. Over 100,000 people and 10,000 cars were left stranded, creating massive traffic jams in the port city of Haikou.
Volunteers gave food and water to those waiting, and at least one traveler set up a tent by the side of the road.
Many had little option but to wait, as some airline routes had sold out. Other companies took advantage of the squeeze, jacking up prices to as high as RMB10,000 for flights to nearby cities such as Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
Thanks to the traffic fiasco, Hainan, long known as the 'Hawaii of China,' has doubtless lost its appeal for some travelers.