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A passenger car ferry, the Herald of Free Enterprise, sank in the harbour of Zeebrugge, Belgium, on 6 March 1987. The large bow doors, for cars to drive on and drive off the ferry, were not closed before the ship left the harbour. Water started pouring in, and the ferry ended up on its side, not far from the coast. 193 people on board were drowned. The man responsible for making the doors shut was asleep in his cabin, though an inquiry blamed the ferry's owner Townsend Thoresen for sloppy standards. Ferry safety was tightened up afterwards.

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