Two Egyptians died on Tuesday after a boat sank in the Nile river near the historic city of Luxor, the city’s municipal government said.
The hotel boat, named the Nile Tivoli, had not hosted any tourists since 2010 when its licence expired and was not renewed, the Tourism Ministry said on Tuesday.
But some employees were on board the ship when it capsized. Two died and another was injured.
The boat had been undergoing ministry-mandated renovations to qualify for a licence to host tourists during the coming winter season, the Tourism Ministry statement said.
After its renovations were complete, the boat was appraised by the Egyptian River Transport Authority and given a temporary permit to leave the shipyard where it was being repaired to return to its mooring spot in Luxor.
Videos purportedly showing the Nile Tivoli capsizing were broadcast live by local media outlets. The boat is seen moored in between two other tourist boats and rapidly turns on its side and into the water.
More videos were posted on social media by tourists on nearby boats who watched the incident happen.
An investigation has been launched into the cause of the incident, said the Luxor government’s statement.
October to February is the high season for tourism in Luxor because of cooler temperatures in the area.
In June, three British tourists lost their lives when a diving boat caught on fire in Egypt’s Red Sea.