At least 50 drown after Comoros boat capsizes

By REUTERS
August 9, 2011 15:51

 
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MORONI - At least 50 people including children drowned in rough seas when a passenger boat sunk off the Comoros archipelago in the early hours of Tuesday after its engines failed, the country's public prosecutor said.

The vessel was ferrying more than 100 people from the capital Moroni to the island of Anjouan when it hit rocks about 3 km (1.8 miles) off the coast of the main island after both its motors cut out, causing the boat to capsize, said public prosecutor Soilih Mahmoud.

"Fifty bodies have been recovered so far but some bodies remain trapped in the submerged wreckage and will only be retrieved when the seas calm," the prosecutor added.

Boats are an important mode of transport between the Indian Ocean archipelago's three islands and accidents are relatively common on the island, which is sandwiched between Madagascar and southern Africa.

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