Ferry accident off Mozambique’s coast leaves more than 90 dead: officials

At least 94 people, many of whom are believed to be children, were killed on Sunday after a makeshift ferry sank off Mozambique’s northern coast, according to officials in the area.

The boat was carrying 130 people and was between Lunga and the Island of Mozambique, which is part of the Nampula province off Mozambique’s northern coast, when it capsized, Lourenco Machado, an administrator of the country’s Maritime Transport Institute, said Monday on state television.

Machado also said 26 people are missing following the incident as rescue efforts continue into Monday.

The vessel was an overloaded fishing boat and was not licensed to transport people, Machado said, adding that initial reports indicated the boat was hit by a tidal wave.

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Mozambique on a map

At least 94 people, including children, were killed on Sunday after a makeshift ferry sank off Mozambique’s northern coast, officials in the country announced. (Getty Images)

Some people on the boat were traveling to attend a fair while others were attempting to flee from Lunga to Mozambique to avoid being contaminated by cholera, which has affected that region in recent days, local outlet TV Diário Nampula reported.

Jaime Neto, the secretary of state in Nampula province, said misinformation about an alleged cholera outbreak caused people to panic and board the boat, according to the BBC.

“Because the boat was overcrowded and unsuited to carry passengers, it ended up sinking,” he told the outlet, noting that many who died in the incident were children.

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Mozambique flag

The boat was carrying 130 people and was between Lunga and the Island of Mozambique in Nampula province in the northern part of the country when it capsized. (Getty Images)

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Mozambique and neighboring southern African countries Zimbabwe and Malawi have been affected by a deadly cholera outbreak in recent months that authorities are attempting to control.

Many areas of Mozambique are only accessible by boat as the country has a poor road network. Some of its areas are unreachable by land or air.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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