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Iraq parliament votes to sack official after ferry sinking

Published
Shiite Muslim worshippers light candles as they pray for the victims of a sunken ferry, outside the golden-domed Shiite shrine of Imam Moussa al-Kadhim, in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, March 22, 2019. A ferry overloaded with people celebrating the Kurdish new year sank in the Tigris River near the Iraqi city of Mosul on Thursday, killing dozens of people, mostly women and children, officials said. (AP Photo/Farid Abdulwahed)

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's parliament voted on Sunday to sack a provincial official following the tragic sinking of a ferry in the Tigris River that killed nearly 100 people, the house's deputy speaker said.

Hassan al-Kaabi told The Associated Press that the majority of the house's 329 members voted to sack the governor of Nineveh province and his two deputies. Over 270 lawmakers attended Sunday's session.

Angry residents of Mosul have protested against Nofal al-Akoub, demanding his firing.

The ferry loaded with holidaymakers celebrating the Kurdish and Persian new year, sank on Thursday.

Police official Mazen Abdullah said 97 were killed and 67 remain missing. Abdullah said 55 were rescued.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi ordered an investigation into the incident, which residents blamed on corruption and lack of rescue means. He also called for the governor's sacking.

Abdul-Mahdi also appointed a new crisis council, headed by a university professor, to administer the province until a new governor is named.

A special investigation team, which includes judges and prosecutors, was set up to determine why the ferry sank.

Relatives of victims of sunken ferry pray after burying their victims at the cemetery in Mosul, Iraq, Friday, March 22, 2019. A ferry overloaded with people celebrating the Kurdish new year sank in the Tigris River in Mosul on Thursday, killing dozens of people, mostly women and children, officials said. (AP Photo/Farid Abdulwahed)
Shiite Muslim worshippers light candles as they pray for the victims of a sunken ferry, outside the golden-domed Shiite shrine of Imam Moussa al-Kadhim, in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, March 22, 2019. A ferry overloaded with people celebrating the Kurdish new year sank in the Tigris River near the Iraqi city of Mosul on Thursday, killing dozens of people, mostly women and children, officials said. (AP Photo/Farid Abdulwahed)
Shiite Muslim worshippers light candles as they pray for the victims of a sunken ferry, outside the golden-domed Shiite shrine of Imam Moussa al-Kadhim, in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, March 22, 2019. A ferry overloaded with people celebrating the Kurdish new year sank in the Tigris River near the Iraqi city of Mosul on Thursday, killing dozens of people, mostly women and children, officials said. (AP Photo/Farid Abdulwahed)
Relatives of victims of sunken ferry pray after burying their victims at the cemetery in Mosul, Iraq, Friday, March 22, 2019. A ferry overloaded with people celebrating the Kurdish new year sank in the Tigris River in Mosul on Thursday, killing dozens of people, mostly women and children, officials said. (AP Photo/Farid Abdulwahed)
Relatives of victims of sunken ferry pray after burying their victims at the cemetery in Mosul, Iraq, Friday, March 22, 2019. A ferry overloaded with people celebrating the Kurdish new year sank in the Tigris River in Mosul on Thursday, killing dozens of people, mostly women and children, officials said. (AP Photo/Farid Abdulwahed)