About 85 people have been injured after a high-speed ferry travelling from Hong Kong to Macau hit an “unidentified object”, according to reports.

The operator said it had 105 passengers and 10 crew on board. There were no reports of any people missing, and an investigation is now under way.

A government spokesman told the BBC that the accident happened at 01:20 local time (17:20 GMT Thursday) near the island of Hei Ling Chau.

The vessel was later towed to a local terminal, reports said.

“There was suddenly a loud bang. The ferry was thrown upwards. Then many passengers were thrown out from their seats,” one passenger was quoted as saying by Hong Kong’s Apple Daily news website.

After the accident the vessel went back to Hong Kong Island’s downtown Sheung Wan terminal where a dozen ambulances were waiting to tend to the injured, a government spokesman said.

A spokesman for the ferry company, TurboJet, was quoted as saying that a hydrofoil had hit the object in the water around 15 minutes after it departed from Hong Kong.