Four charged over Zanzibar boat tragedy

2011-09-17 10:12

Arusha, Tanzania – Four Tanzanians have been charged with negligence over last week’s boat accident off the country’s Zanzibar archipelago that killed 203 people, a prosecutor said today.

Boat captain Said Adallah Kinyanyite, his assistant Abdallah Mohamed Ali, one of the boat owners, Yusuf Suleiman, and Silima Nyange Silima, a Zanzibar port official, were charged yesterday.

“I confirm that the four suspects have been brought to court and charged,” said Ramadhan Nassib, Zanzibar prosecutor, adding that the four were charged with “causing death by negligence”.

The suspects will reappear in court on Monday.

The MV Spice Islander capsized early on Saturday. Rescuers saved 619 passengers of the more than 800 on the severely overloaded boat, which was headed to Pemba from Unguja, Zanzibar’s main island.

Residents have also accused authorities of negligence.

A group of South African divers have been unable to reach the boat wreckage in a bid to recover more bodies. 

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