- More than 200 people are feared dead following the capsizing of a ferry off the coast of Sierra Leone, authorities said yesterday.
Hundreds of people are still reported missing following the Tuesday accident in stormy waters when the wooden ferry believed to have been carrying over 250 people capsized.
The boat is said to have been transporting scores of children and their parents returning from holidays, when it was hit by a heavy storm late Tuesday some 185 km from the capital, Freetown.
According to officials so far about 40 people have been rescued, while the rescue teams also recovered 16 bodies.
The search for more bodies was still continuing, and officials said the search would continue into the weekend.
The Transport Ministry officials in Freetown said the number of passengers on the boat could not be verified, but believed it could well be over 300, as children were not registered.
Earlier reports had said that the ferry lacked life-jackets for passengers and thus the less numbers of survivors. Officials are also suspecting overcrowding and overloading to be the cause of the accident.
The accident has been said to be the worst since a boat full of refugees capsized in 2002.
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