9 missing as boat capsizes in Tanzania

STONE TOWN, Tanzania – At least nine people were reported to be missing on Wednesday after a boat carrying construction materials capsized while heading toward the Zanzibar archipelago off Tanzania, maritime authorities said.

The vessel, The Masha Allah, is reported to have sank on the route between Pemba and Tanga, one of the two main islands of the archipelago, and none of the three crew members and at least six passenger have been seen since the accident was reported on Tuesday morning.

The boat is said to have been transporting “several tonnes of building materials, mainly cement in bags,” Sheika Ahmed of the Zanzibar Maritime Authority said.

He also said the boat may have been overloaded, or the waves were particularly high in an area where sinking is common but rarely reported.

Most boats working the Zanzibar islands are smaller vessels in poor conditions, lacking emergency or communications equipment. The distance between the port of Tanga and Pemba is about 50 kilometres.

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