ZANZIBAR, Tanzania (AP) – Tanzania’s government on Saturday halted rescue operations for a ferry accident that appears to have killed 146 people.
Government official Ali Juma Shamhuna said 69 passengers were confirmed dead and 77 were still missing, but the rescue efforts were called off because it was unlikely to still find any passengers alive in the Indian Ocean three days after the accident.
The ferry MV Skagit, which capsized Wednesday while traveling from the East African nation’s economic capital Dar es Salaam to the island of Zanzibar, was carrying 291 passengers, although it had only been certified to carry 250, he added.
A total of 145 passengers, among them also foreign tourists, were rescued after the accident.
The government closed the identification center for victims Saturday after bodies recovered a day earlier had already decomposed beyond recognition, said Dr. Marijani Msafiri, an official in charge of the rescue operation.
Rescue efforts had been slowed down by heavy winds and strong currents over the past days.
One rescue diver, Ali Ramadhan, said divers tried to find the sunken ship, diving to a depth of 25 meters (yards) but couldn’t find it. He speculated that underwater currents may have pushed it away from where it sank.
“We realized that there’s little chance to recover anybody alive or to allocate exactly where is the ill-fated ferry. The place it sunk is deep sea with strong underwater currents. It’s dangerous to go beyond 25 meters,” said Ramadhan.
Last September, more than 200 people were killed when a crowded ferry traveling between two islands of Zanzibar sank.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- 2016 college football rivalry games you simply can't miss
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- Diet, exercise and aspirin: 3 tools to fight colon cancer
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl