Tragic Ferry Boat Capsizing Claims 94 Lives Off Mozambique's Coast
Tragic Ferry Boat Capsizing Claims 94 Lives Off Mozambique's Coast

Washington:  Tragedy struck off the northern coast of Mozambique as a ferry boat capsized, resulting in the loss of at least 94 lives, including children, with 26 individuals still missing, according to officials.

The vessel, identified as an overloaded fishing boat, was not authorized to transport passengers, revealed Lourenco Machado, an administrator from the country's Maritime Transport Institute (INTRASMAR), during a televised announcement on Monday. "We witnessed a maritime incident on Sunday where at least 94 individuals lost their lives when a barge carrying 130 people capsized. So far, we have recovered 94 bodies, and 26 people remain unaccounted for," he stated.

The boat was en route from Lunga in Nampula province to the Island of Mozambique when the tragic event occurred, Machado disclosed, noting that initial reports suggested it was struck by a tidal wave. Most of the passengers onboard were reportedly attempting to flee the mainland due to panic stemming from misinformation about a cholera outbreak, as stated by Nampula's Secretary of State Jaime Neto. Another local maritime administrator, cited by state broadcaster TVM, echoed similar sentiments about the passengers' intentions to escape the cholera outbreak.

Jaime Neto reiterated that the passengers were fleeing cholera, as per reports from the BBC. "Due to overcrowding and the vessel's inadequacy for passenger transportation, it tragically sank," he explained, underscoring that numerous children were among the casualties.

Footage circulated on social media platforms depicted numerous bodies strewn across a beach, with some individuals seen carrying the lifeless forms of children. Verification of these videos by Reuters was not immediately possible. Mozambique, one of the world's poorest nations, has grappled with almost 15,000 cases of waterborne diseases and 32 fatalities since October, according to government statistics.

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