Nearly 200 people are dead in Tanzania after an apparently overloaded ferry capsized early Saturday. Estimates of the dead and survivors varied in news accounts, but The Telegraph reported at least 192 bodies had been recovered, while more than 600 passengers apparently survived the accident. The disaster, following on a 2006 capsizing of an overloaded vessel, brought immediate condemnation from survivors and others who feel the boats were being operated without regard to safety.
The ferry was bound for the island of Pemba in the Indian Ocean, near the island of Zanzibar, the site of the 2006 accident.
From The Telegraph:
Thousands of residents mobbed the docks of Stone Town on Zanzibar, an island near Pemba, waiting for news. One man was screaming that he had lost 25 members of his family, including his sisters, his wife and grandsons. Many of the crowd were crying or screaming. All the shops were closed.
Seven bodies have washed up so far, said witness Abdirizak Juma.
Many of those present expressed anger that the ship had been allowed to leave port so overloaded and called on government officials to resign.
They said the island should have divers and rescue boats, but it only has a small vessel to try to stop smuggling.
A doctor in Zanzibar told wire services that the death toll from the accident will "likely be much higher."