Officials in Tanzania say that at least 20 people are feared dead with scores injured after a ferry they were sailing in capsized between Zanzibar and Tanzanian commercial capital Dar-es- Salam. Speaking on behalf of the government, Tanzania’a ministry of Infrastructure and Communication said, “Most of the dead are suspected to be children. According to reports we obtained, 258 adults, 31 children and nine crew members were among those in the ferry. The accident is said to have been as a result of very strong winds.” It was said that the ferry capsized as it was sailing on its way to Zanzibar from Dar-es-Salam. “The ferry was carrying about 250 people when the accident occurred at around 9:30 early in the morning. This is another unfortunate accident that the government is now fully carrying out investigations. A rescue team from the Navy and police as well are at the scene doing all what they can,” said Saidi Shabani, an official working in the second vice president’s office.
The tragedy happens just a couple months ago after a recent accident which saw more than 200 people perish in September when the ferry they were travelling in Spice Islander capsized while sailing between two of the three islands that constitute Zanzibar; the semi-autonomous section of Tanzania; viewed as one of the worst maritime disasters to ever happen in Africa in the past decade. According to the Member of Parliament from the area, Ismail Jussa, he clarified that indeed the rescue boats had been dispatched to the scene of the tragedy where MV Stargic capsized while on its way from Dar-es-Salam headed to Zanzibar and that all other cargo and ferry transportation scheduled to take place was suspended. A joint rescue mission was carried out by the Police Investigation Department and arrangements made for receiving of the dead bodies.
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