Madagascar: 85 dead after shipwreck

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85 people rose to number of dead of the shipwreck freight transport in the northeast Madagascar, announced today Thursday (23/12) the port authorities and gendarmerie officials, who located another 21 bodies.

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“The report has risen to 85 dead“As 21 corpses were collected yesterday”, said on Wednesday, the gendarmerie general Zafisabatra Ravoavi, according to the APE-MPE.

The number of passengers on this 12-meter-long wooden boat was also revised upwards to 138, of which only 50 could be rescued, the port authorities said.

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The ship, which was not allowed to board passengers, had departed from the site of Anseraka for Soaneirana-Iwongo, almost a hundred kilometers south. It sank very close to its destination.

“Most of the passengers were seasonal workers from the countryside”

The majority of the passengers were seasonal workers, who returned after the carnation harvest to their homes for the holidays.

“Personal belongings, IDs and money were found by the rescue teams,” said Alban Menavolo, the mayor of Soanierana-Ivongo.

“Most of the passengers were seasonal workers from the countryside”, he continued. “These citizens” had gone to pick carnations a little further north from the port from which they left, and boarded the ship as they intended to go to their families with the money they had taken out to celebrate the end of the year, “he told statements he made to AFP.

This journey by boat takes a little over two hours, while by taxi-bus at least eight hours, according to locals.

Today a service is scheduled for the dead and flags will be flown at half-mast across the country. President Andy Rajoelina announced on Tuesday that today will be a day of mourning for this tragedy and for the helicopter crash with two missing people that occurred on the same day.

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