Crowded Ferry Capsizes Off Tanzania Coast, Killing 24: Official

on July 18 2012 3:31 PM
Tanzania Ferry
A passenger ferry capsized off the coast of Tanzania on Wednesday. Wikipedia

A passenger ferry capsized off the coast of Tanzania on Wednesday, killing 24 people according to one Zanzibari minister.

The MV Skagit, a boat formerly used for passenger trips in the United States, was traveling from the city of Dar es Salaam to the Zanzibar archipelago, a tourist destination, when it hit heavy winds and tipped into the water.

The ferry was carrying at least 250 passengers when it sank, according to the BBC. That suggests the MV Skagit was at -- or over -- its carrying capacity.

The incident follows a similar tragedy last year, when almost 200 people lost their lives off the coast of Zanzibar after an overcrowded boat capsized. The government has promised to invest in safer passenger vessels to prevent accidents like these.

Following Wednesday's accident, the navy and police forces launched a rescue operation that is still ongoing.

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