At least nine individuals lost their lives, and an unknown number have been missing following a passenger boat’s collision with a cargo vessel on a river in northwest Madagascar, authorities mentioned Monday.
There were some children among the 35 people on the eight-meter boat when the collision happened on Sunday evening near Antsohihy on the Loza river, per reports from the River and Maritime Port Agency (APMF).
Some of the passengers were able to swim ashore. However, the others are unaccounted for.
What happened to the other passengers remains unknown until now, Jean-Edmond Randrianantenaina, the APMF Director-General, informed AFP.
Rescue operations are going on, he specified. The passenger boat was reportedly sailing from Ambika. The agency mentioned that it was suddenly rammed by a cargo dhow and sank right away.
Randrianantenaina suggested that the accident may have resulted from a lack of lighting on the passenger boat.
The cargo ship fled right after the collision, but the team could catch up with it, informed Randrianantenaina, adding that the police were questioning the crew members.
Last December, a boat sank off the northeastern coast of Madagascar, claiming 88 lives, most of them seasonal employees sailing home after they had harvested cloves.
References: Africa News, Daily Times