Hong Kong observed three minutes of silence at midday Thursday, beginning a period of official mourning for the victims of the city's worst maritime tragedy in decades.
People across the city dressed in black, flags flew at half mast, and schools and government offices halted activity to mourn the 38 people killed Monday in the ferry collision.
Hong Kong's chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, led other senior officials in a somber memorial service outside government headquarters, while families of the victims paid tribute to the victims at sea as the mourning period began.
At least five children were killed and more than 100 people injured, some critically, when a high-speed ferry crashed into another boat, chartered by Hong Kong Electric that was taking employees to watch holiday fireworks in Victoria Harbor.
Police have arrested seven crew members, including the captains of both vessels. Officials have begun a six-month investigation into the accident.