Deaths In Madagascar Shipwreck Rise To 64 While 20 Remain Missing

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Madagascar (AFP) – The death toll from a shipwreck off Madagascar’s northeastern coast has risen to at least 64 after 25 more bodies were discovered, maritime authorities said Wednesday.

A wooden vessel, believed to be a cargo ship carrying passengers illegally, sank in the Indian Ocean on Monday with 130 people on board.

The death toll from a shipwreck off Madagascar’s northeastern coast has risen to at least 64 after 25 more bodies were discovered, maritime authorities said Wednesday.

A wooden vessel, believed to be a cargo ship carrying passengers illegally, sank in the Indian Ocean on Monday with 130 people on board.

Forty-five passengers were rescued and around 20 remain missing. The search for survivors continues.

“Twenty-five bodies were found this morning near Sainte-Marie islands, probably due to sea currents, which brings the death total to 64,” gendarmerie general Zafisambatra Ravoavy told AFP.

Maritime authorities said initial investigations suggested the vessel’s engine had a “technical problem”, leaving the boat vulnerable to tidal forces and causing it to run aground on a reef.

A Malagasy government minister who travelled to the disaster scene swam 12 hours to shore on Tuesday after his helicopter crashed off the island nation’s northeastern coast.