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Death toll of Tanzanian ferry accident confirmed at 128

(Xinhua)

11:28, August 01, 2012

STONE TOWN, Tanzania, July 31 (Xinhua) -- A total of 128 people have been confirmed dead in Tanzania's ferry accident which occurred two weeks ago while 16 people are still unaccounted for, the government of semi-autonomous Zanzibar announced here on Tuesday.

The office of Zanzibar's Second Vice President made the announcement two weeks after the ferry MV Stagit capsized while heading to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam due to strong wind.

The accident has prompted Zanzibar's government to delegate the Ministry of Finance, Economic and Development Planning to locate funds to buy a new passenger and cargo ship to minimize the potential risks of buying used ones.

The captain and the owner of the ill-fated ferry have been charged before a local court shortly after the accident involving the ferry carrying 290 people including nine crew members.

So far, 146 people have been rescued alive including 15 foreign tourists from the U.S., Belgium, Germany and Holland.

Zanzibar's Minister of Infrastructure and Communication Hamad Msoud Hamad stepped down two days after the accident following the pressure from the MPs who blamed him for the two deadly accidents that occurred in less a year.

Another ferry accident in September last year in the waters near northern Unguja killed over 200 passengers, including many children and women, due to overloading.
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