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Funeralgoers die as ferry sinks in CAR

In World
April 20, 2024

At least 58 people have died in the Central African Republic after the overcrowded ferry carrying them capsized, say officials.

Most of the 300 people on board were on their way to a funeral on Friday when the vessel sank.

It happened on the Mpoko river near the capital, Bangui.

Footage of the accident on social media shows people falling or jumping into the water trying to reach the banks of the river.

Boat disasters are not uncommon in the Central African Republic.

“What just happened was terrifying,” a witness told French-language broadcaster RFI.

“I know a family who’ve lost seven relatives in this tragedy.”

Speaking to local station Radio Guira on Saturday, civil protection head Thomas Djimasse said rescuers retrieved “58 lifeless bodies” from the water, but added “we don’t know the total number of people who are underwater”.

Dozens of survivors are reported to be receiving treatment in hospitals in Bangui.

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