Ferry sinks off Zanzibar, victims feared—official
ZANZIBAR – An overloaded ferry carrying 600 people sank in off Zanzibar, but at least 250 have been rescued, an official in Tanzania’s semi-autonomous archipelago said Saturday.
“We managed to rescue 250 people so far including 20 children [but] rescue operations are hampered by a lack of equipment,” deputy secretary of state for infrastructure and communication Issa Gavu told Agence France-Presse.
“Navy and police rescue teams have been sent to the scene,” he added.
Private Tanzanian radio station Capital said 51 people had died in the disaster and 269 were injured, but there was no immediate official confirmation of this toll.
The MV Spice Island which was travelling between Zanzibar’s main island Unguja and Pemba, two of the three islands that make up Zanzibar, had left Unguja around 9:00 p.m. (1900 GMT) and sank four hours later.
The exact number of passengers on this type of ferry is often difficult to establish as no reliable passenger lists are kept.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.