April 20, 2014
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Leonard Balogun Koroma - Transport and Aviation Minister

Leonard Balogun Koroma – Transport and Aviation Minister

Beltship, the company that owns the vessel that collided with a pampan boat off the shores of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone will be issuing a press release confirming that they own the vessel that was involved in a collision with a Panpan coxwain boat. According to reports received by this press from the Beltship management, contrary to erroneous press reports published earlier, the vessel involved in the accident was not one owned by African Minerals as these reports had suggested. The Transport and Aviation minister, Balogun Logus Koroma, has confirmed that it was an unfortunate  mistake, as the information he had earlier received was not accurately conveyed to his office, and that no African Minerals vessel was involved in the incident.

According to the Minister, the Pampan boat departed Kissy Ferry Terminal at around 17:48 with 45 passengers on board and 3 crew members, and a distress call was received around 17:00 hrs; 43 people have been rescued from the accident so far, and 5 dead bodies have also been removed and 1 person is still missing. Search and rescue efforts are continuing as police have taken the Pampan Coxwain boat into custody. Beltship, the company that owns the vessel involved, is a private contractor in Sierra Leone. 37 of those rescued have been taken to the Connaught hospital in Freetown for treatment. Newstime Africa will bring you update on this issue as and when we receive them and the press release from Beltship will also be published in full when that becomes available. Stay tuned for the latest.

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