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.
The army in Macedonia has begun erecting a metal fence on Saturday on the country's southern border with Greece
Kenyan police have accused two Iranian trained suspects of planning attacks on schools and foreigners in Nairobi
Israel has been using Dutch dogs to terrorize Palestinian civilians - including children - and have been exporting them from the Netherlands for the past 20 years.
French President François Hollande has appealed to British MPs to bomb ISIL despite protests against the air strikes campaign in the UK and Spain on Saturday.
Hervé Falciani sentenced in absentia for his role in the financial espionage that was the biggest leak in financial banking history
Defense Minister Tinatin Khidasheli describes Turkey as an 'important and respected partner and player in today's world'
Two UN peacekeepers and a civilian contractor were killed in the attack in Kidal, officials said.
Several relatives of the drowned boy, who became a symbol of the Syrian refugee crisis will be admitted into Canada.
Tunisia’s secretary of state for national security, Rafik Chelly, has said that recent attacks in Tunisia were planned in Libya
A criminal arms dealer gang has been busted in Moscow allegedly trading explosives and munitions on a large scale, as well as producing homemade bombs to order.
Israel has detained a Palestinian after raiding the Aida refugee camp
The French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said that Europe cannot take any more refugees and that the Gulf states should step up and accept more refugees.
'I am here as a mother of people of South Sudan... we are bringing peace,' Rebecca Garang, widow of founder of SPLM party, says
Two civilians, one police officer killed as gunman opens fire at family-planning clinic in Colorado
Judges at the International Criminal Court have ruled that former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo is fit to stand trial for his alleged involvement in deadly post-election violence in his country.
Authorities in France have used state of emergency powers to place 24 activists under house arrest as France continues its ban on public demonstrations ahead of the scheduled climate talks.