Madagascar shipwreck death toll rises to 64
The death toll from a shipwreck off Madagascar’s northeastern coast has risen to at least 64 after 25 more bodies were discovered, maritime authorities said Wednesday.
A wooden vessel, believed to be a cargo ship carrying passengers illegally, sank in the Indian Ocean on Monday with 130 people on board.
Forty-five passengers were rescued and around 20 remain missing. The search for survivors continues.
“Twenty-five bodies were found this morning near Sainte-Marie islands, probably due to sea currents, which brings the death total to 64,” gendarmerie general Zafisambatra Ravoavy told AFP.
Maritime authorities said initial investigations suggested the vessel’s engine had a “technical problem”, leaving the boat vulnerable to tidal forces and causing it to run aground on a reef.
A Malagasy government minister who travelled to the disaster scene swam 12 hours to shore on Tuesday after his helicopter crashed off the island nation’s northeastern coast.