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Thirty one dead, over 100 missing in Zanzibar ferry disaster

July 19, 2012


Paramedics arrange the recovered bodies of victims of a ferry tragedy in the Indian Ocean waters, at the port of Zanzibar July 18, 2012. — Photo Reuters

ZANZIBAR: At least 31 people have drowned and more than a hundred more are missing feared dead after a ferry sank off Zanzibar, police said Thursday, a day after the accident.

The vessel, which was officially carrying almost 290 passengers and crew, including more than 30 children, went down in choppy waters off Zanzibar after leaving Tanzania's commercial capital Dar es Salaam around midday Wednesday.

It was the second such tragedy in less than a year.

Officials said emergency workers had rescued 149 people so far and recovered 31 bodies, including at least two Europeans. But there was now little hope of saving more people, said Zanzibar police spokesman Mohamed Mhina.

“Search operations continue but it is now almost impossible survivors will be found...The ship has completely sunk. There were 290 people on board,” said Mhina.