Bloomberg News

Zanzibar Says Initial Probe Shows Ferry That Sank Was Overloaded

September 11, 2011

Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) -- The ferry that sank off Tanzania’s coast, leaving 240 people dead, was probably overloaded, Zanzibar Police Commissioner Musa Ali Musa said.

The MV Spice Islander sank at about midnight on Sept. 9 while en route to Pemba Island, 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Zanzibar’s main island of Unguja, Musa said in a phone interview today from Zanzibar City. At least 607 people survived the incident, he said.

“The capacity of the ferry was 500 people,” Musa said. “Early investigations show that the ship was overloaded, which may have been the cause of the accident.”

A team of rescue workers that includes the Tanzanian army is continuing to search for victims, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Malingha Doya in Dar es Salaam at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at

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