Four charged over Zanzibar ferry disaster

September 17, 2011 11:41

DAR ES SALAAM - Four people have been charged with causing the deaths of more than 200 people when a crowded ferry sank last week in Zanzibar, local media reported on Saturday.

The captain of the MV Spice Islander I ferry, Said Abdallah Kinyanyite, 58, who remains missing, was charged in absentia at the Zanzibar High Court on Friday.

Authorities said they could not confirm whether or not the captain had drowned in the accident in the early hours of Sept. 10. More than 600 people survived the tragedy in the popular tourist destination.

Prosecutors also charged one of the owners of the ferry, Yusuf Suleiman Jussa, 47, first officer Abdallah Mohamed Ali, 30, and a Zanzibar Ports Authority employee responsible for passenger inspection, Silima Nyange Silima, 27.

Zanzibar's director of public prosecutions Ramadhan Nassib told the court their negligence led to the sinking of the ferry and the deaths of 203 people, Tanzania's Citizen newspaper reported.

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