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Ferry with 250 people sinks off Zanzibar

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A ferry with at least 250 people on board has sunk off the east African coast of the Zanzibar archipelago, killing at least twelve people.

Dozens of people were missing after the ferry, MV Salama, capsized after it set sail from the Tanzanian commercial capital of Dar-es-Salaam on Wednesday, Saidi Shabaani, an official in the second vice president's office, told the AFP news agency.

"This is another tragedy we are investigating. A rescue team from the police and navy have rushed to the scene," Shaabani said.

"Twelve dead bodies and 10 surivors have been recovered so far. Rescue operations continue in bad weather," State Minister in the Zanzibari president's office Mwinyihaji Makame told journalists soon after the accident occurred, at around 9:30GMT.

It was still unclear what caused the accident near Chumbe island, west of Zanzibar, police said.

MV Salama, or peace in the local Swahili language, is owned by a company named Seagull, which also runs a number of other ferries.

More than 200 people perished in September when the ferry Spice Islander capsized while sailing between two of the three islands that make up Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, in one of the worst maritime disasters in Africa in the past decade.


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