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.
German Chancellor says Ankara should prosecute coup plotters with all means and possibilities within rule of law
Dozen killings in last 2 months have largely targeted ruling African National Congress members
Gulen's terrorist organization FETO has extended networks in western Balkans since 1990s
With latest payment, company's financial assistance from European Commission totals more than €10 million
Iraqi authorities typically blame such attacks on ISIL group
Italy has launched an online campaign which seeks to reach the 16-35 age group to deter would be refugees who are most likely to make the perilous journey
Early this month, Turkish ship docked in Israel's Port of Ashdod bearing 11,000 tons of aid bound for blockaded enclave
Trump's comments regarding France were ignored with Francois Hollande saying that "France will always be France"
Angela Merkel has stood firm refusing to amend her refugee policy with a call to her people reminding the of the humanitarian challenge of providing a safe haven for refugees in their country
Alleged member of far-left group seized during family holiday on Dalmatian coast, local media reports
Campaign leading to Aug. 11 polls marred by deaths, dirty tricks to provoke rivals
With more than 2.5 million refugees displaced in north Eastern Nigeria, more than 9 million people are in desperate need of humanitarian aid
Company sees best-ever share price on day of quarterly earnings report
FARC rebels last month signed a peace deal which will by monitored by the UN
Departing president passes the baton to Hillary Clinton as his heir at the Democratic convention
Human Rights Watch has released its children in detention report, detailing the abuse that children suffer for alleged association in conflict related offenses