SA divers to retrieve Zanzibar ferry bodies

A team of South African divers has arrived in Zanzibar to help find the bodies of around 200 people who drowned in a ferry accident early on Saturday, the police said in a statement on Monday.

The 12 divers, who arrived on Sunday night, will try to access the submerged hulk of the MV Spice Islander to free the bodies that are stuck inside.

Rescuers have managed to save 619 passengers out of the more than 800 on board the vessel which was on its way to Pemba from the main island in the Zanzibar archipelago.

The most recent official toll put the number of dead at 197.

Efforts to retrieve bodies have so far been hampered by a shortage of divers.

Later on Monday Zanzibar President Mohammed Shein will lead prayers for the victims and their families in the island’s capital Stone Town. Survivors said the Spice Islander was overloaded when it left Zanzibar.

A three-day period of national mourning for the disaster started on Sunday.—AFP



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