At least 94 killed in maritime accident off Mozambique's coast

   April 8, 2024 ,   Accidents

A tragic maritime accident unfolded off the northern coast of Mozambique Island, resulting in the loss of at least 94 lives, including children. A total of 26 individuals are still missing, as reported by an official from Mozambique's Maritime Transport Institute (INTRASMAR).

The vessel involved was identified as an overloaded fishing boat, not authorized for passenger transport, according to Lourenco Machado, an INSTRASMAR administrator, speaking on state television on Monday. Machado further disclosed that the boat, which was ferrying individuals from Lunga in Nampula province to Mozambique Island, succumbed to tragic circumstances, potentially due to a tidal wave.

The passengers were reportedly fleeing a cholera outbreak, as per state broadcaster TVM, citing another local maritime administrator. Jaime Neto, secretary of state for Nampula province, reiterated this account, stating that the passengers were escaping the cholera outbreak, as reported by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

Neto elaborated that the boat's overcrowded and ill-suited conditions for passenger transport contributed to its sinking, resulting in a significant loss of life, including numerous children. Distressing videos circulated on social media depicted the aftermath, with numerous bodies strewn across a beach, and individuals seen carrying the lifeless forms of children.

The incident underscores the ongoing challenges faced by Mozambique and neighboring countries in Southern Africa, grappling with cholera outbreaks since the previous year.