Tragic Ferry Disaster in Mozambique Leaves Scores Dead and Missing

Tragic Ferry Disaster in Mozambique Leaves Scores Dead and Missing

A devastating maritime disaster has struck off the northern coast of Mozambique, where a ferry boat carrying fleeing passengers capsized, resulting in at least 94 confirmed deaths, including children, with 26 individuals still missing. The incident occurred as the overloaded fishing vessel, which was not authorized for passenger transport, sank while carrying 130 people from Lunga in Nampula province to Mozambique Island.

According to Lourenco Machado of Mozambique's Maritime Transport Institute (INTRASMAR), initial reports suggest the boat may have been struck by a tidal wave. The passengers, including many children, were reportedly fleeing a cholera outbreak in the region.

Jaime Neto, secretary of state for Nampula province, confirmed the overcrowded and unsuitable conditions aboard the vessel contributed to its tragic fate. "Because the boat was overcrowded and unsuited to carry passengers, it ended up sinking," he stated, emphasizing the dire circumstances faced by those attempting to escape the cholera outbreak.

Heart-wrenching videos shared on social media show numerous bodies strewn along the beach and grieving individuals carrying the lifeless forms of children. While the authenticity of these videos has not been independently verified by Reuters, they underscore the profound human toll of this calamitous event.

This disaster highlights the ongoing challenges faced by Mozambique and neighboring countries in Southern Africa, as they grapple with persistent cholera outbreaks that have plagued communities since last year. The loss of life in this tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for improved maritime safety measures and heightened awareness of the risks associated with makeshift transport during times of crisis.

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