More than 100 Drown in Zanzibar Ferry Sinking

An overcrowded ferry sank off the waters of Zanzibar on Saturday, drowning more than 100 people with many others believed to be missing.

The MV Spice Islander was travelling from Zanzibar’s main island of Unguja to the other major island of the archipelago, Pemba, when it encountered rough waters and strong winds. Reports said the ferry was carrying more than 500 people, who forced themselves into the ferry. Zanzibar police commissioner Mussa Alli Mussa said “some 260 passengers have so far been rescued … we have recovered several bodies but I can’t give you the exact death toll at the moment because the situation is very volatile.” A Reuters report has put the number of dead at 192, while CNN reported that at least 158 have perished in one of the worst sea disasters in the semi-autonomous island in Tanzania.

Reports have yet to indicate the nationalities of the casualties. Unguja and Pemba are both known tourist destinations, raising the possibility that some foreigners may have been passengers of the ill-fated ferry,