World Bulletin / News Desk
Rescue workers fought rough seas on Thursday to search for more than 100 people missing after an overcrowded ferry sank near the Indian Ocean archipelago of Zanzibar, but hopes of finding survivors were slim.
At least 38 people, including an American citizen, were confirmed dead and 145 were rescued after the MV Skagit/Kalama passenger boat capsized on Wednesday around midday near Chumbe island, west of Zanzibar.
The vessel had set sail from mainland Tanzania to the semi-autonomous archipelago, a popular tourist beach destination.
Hundreds of people gathered at the Maisara Grounds park near Zanzibar's historic Stone Town area on Thursday to identify the bodies of victims laid out in a tent.
Tatu Kwiyela, a 35-year-old woman from mainland Tanzania, survived the accident, but lost her nine-month-old son.
"I was swept away by strong waves and lost my son, Saidi Jumanne. I tried to hang on to him but he disappeared into the sea," said Tatu, who managed to identify his remains.
Police said more than 10 foreign tourists, including a group of Dutch holiday makers, were among the rescued passengers.
"One of those killed in the ferry accident is an American citizen. The body has been recovered and is being preserved at a mortuary," Zanzibar police spokesman Mohammed Mhina said.
The ferry, with a maximum carrying capacity of 250 people according to Zanzibar marine authorities, was carrying 290 people, said officials.
"We have recovered seven more bodies today, so the death toll has now risen to 38, with 145 survivors," Zanzibar Police Commissioner Mussa Ali Mussa told Reuters.
"You can say it is not humanly possible to find anyone alive at this point. However, with God's grace the possibility is still there ... Sometimes you can find people alive after a month at sea, so we are not giving up all hope."
Police said rescue workers, who had suspended their search at nightfall, had resumed operations on Thursday to try to recover more bodies or rescue people who might have drifted from the ferry.
"We have boats and a police helicopter looking for survivors, but they are battling with heavy winds and rough seas," said Mussa.
NO SAFETY REGULATIONS
Some of the victims' relatives said they were angry at authorities for lax marine safety regulations, especially after more than 200 people were killed in a ferry accident in September in the worst maritime disaster in the history of Zanzibar.
"The government has killed all these people. They must bring the owner of the boat to us," said Abdallah Sadick, adding his brother was among the missing passengers.
Zanzibar residents said ships plying the Unguja-Pemba route are notoriously overcrowded and there are few, or no, inspections to ensure their safety.
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete ordered an investigation into the incident and announced three days of national mourning.
Recent showdown between NATO and Russia is believed to be a possible solution for the Nagorno-Karabakh question in Azerbaijan
No working group can tackle question between Turkey and Russia unless Turkey takes step first, Kremlin spokesman says
Mohamad Taher Siala, a foreign ministry employee for three decades, 'officially took up his post' at the ministry building
As it is announced the number of the Chechen refugees living in Germany it is increased.
'Following last week's closure of the Idomeni refugee camp, the number of refugees trying to cross Hungary's barrier has increased,' Hungarian PM's chief adviser says
Today, Sadiq Khan and I will set aside our differences to show how remaining in Europe guarantees we are better off: UK PM
Council of Europe representative says Greece failed to 'to create decent facilities that meet international standards'
Two Tunisian civilians are killed and one other injured by a landmine planted by extremist groups near the Algerian border
As part of a peace deal, Palestinian Authority wants NATO to substitute IDF forces in the West Bank
'The start of 2016 is still feeling the disastrous consequences of the attacks in 2015,' the French capital's tourism board says
Deadly blasts occurred in three different areas killing eleven, wounding dozens
Muslim pilgrims mark prayer helping to end a drought over 5 centuries ago
A neo-Nazi has been arrested after threatening to massacre refugees
Counter-terrorism service forces forces entered the city under air cover from the international coalition, the Iraqi air force and army aviation and supported by artillery and tanks
The IMF has refused to back Greece's rescue plan with some seeing the move as the IMF making an effort to protect its own reputation
Hissene Habré, 73, is a former rebel leader who took power by force in 1982 and was then supported by the US and France to remain at the helm as a bulwark to Muammar Gaddafi, the leader of Libya.