News24

Zanzibar mourns after ferry accident

2011-09-12 09:14

Cape Town - The Tanzanian island of Zanzibar began three official days of mourning on Sunday, a day after 200 people died when a ferry jammed with passengers and tons of cargo capsized amid strong waves, CNN reported.

Assistant police commissioner Mussa Ali Mussa, the head of police in Zanzibar, said that at least 240 people died when the ferry sank early on Saturday.

CNN said President Ali Mohamed Shein of Zanzibar, who declared the three days of mourning, also called for flags to fly at half mast.

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete also said the nation would mark three days of mourning starting Sunday.

According to the report, dozens of unidentified victims have been buried and the state minister of Zanzibar says government will maintain records for those searching for loved ones.

In addition to Tanzania, South Africa was sending divers and navy forces to help with recovery efforts.

British officials have also sent helicopters to help with the search efforts.

Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania.