At least 94 dead, 26 missing in Mozambique after unlicensed ferry boat capsizes

At least 94 people have died, including children, and 26 others are missing after a ferry boat capsized off the northern coast of Mozambique.

The boat was carrying people fleeing the cholera outbreak that is ravaging the East African nation, state broadcaster TVM reported.

The vessel was an overloaded fishing boat and was not licensed to transport people, Lourenco Machado, an administrator of INSTRASMAR, said on state television on Monday.

“On Sunday we registered a maritime incident where at least 94 people died when a barge carrying 130 people capsized. We have recovered 94 bodies and 26 are missing,” he said.

The boat was ferrying people from Lunga in Nampula province to Mozambique Island, he said, adding that initial reports indicated that it was hit by a tidal wave.

The passengers were fleeing a cholera outbreak, said state broadcaster TVM, citing another local maritime administrator.

Jaime Neto, secretary of state for Nampula province, also said that the passengers were fleeing cholera, according to the BBC.

“Because the boat was overcrowded and unsuited to carry passengers, it ended up sinking,” he told the BBC, adding that many children were among the dead.

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