The death toll from the sinking of the overcrowded ferry “Joola” is expected to reach almost 1,000, according to Pravda.Ru sources in Ziguinchor, southern Senegal.
The Senegalese authorities originally claimed that there were 796 passengers on board but today confirmed that the figure was 1, 034, far higher than the ship’s capacity of 550 places. The vessel sank during a storm off the Gambian coast as it made its way from Ziguinchor, the capital of the troubled Casamance region, and Dakar, the capital of Senegal. Some of the 64 people who survived tell of conditions of overcrowding.
The “Joola” had been in dry dock for one year, for repair works. It is questioned whether or not she was seaworthy. The state-owned shipping transport company has assumed responsibility for the disaster due to the conditions on board, according to the BBC on Monday.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PPRAVDA.Ru