83 dead, death toll from shipwreck off Madagascar coast

The number of deaths resulting from the sinking of a cargo ship off the northeastern coast of the country has risen to 83, the Maritime Agency in Madagascar said on Wednesday, and that the search for five missing persons had stopped due to bad weather.

Mami Randrianavone, director of marine operations at the Maritime and River Ports Agency, said the vessel – a cargo vessel not authorized to carry personnel – was overwhelmed when its engine flooded on Monday.

Maritime authorities said initial investigations indicated that the ship’s engine suffered from a “technical problem” that left the boat vulnerable to tidal forces and stranded on reefs.

The ship was carrying 138 people, 50 of whom were rescued, and search and rescue operations are continuing to find 5 missing persons.

Because of the accident, the authorities in Madagascar declared, today, Wednesday, mourning throughout the country.

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