View Full Version : Holy shit. A Senegalese ferry sank; they think 760 people are dead.

sawdust restaurants
09-28-2002, 03:18 AM

Ferry Sinks, Over 760 Believed Dead
By NAFI DIOUF, Associated Press Writer

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) - An ocean ferry capsized in a fierce Atlantic storm off West Africa and plunged beneath the waves in minutes, trapping hundreds of screaming passengers. Rescuers said Friday that more than 760 people were believed killed.

Just 32 people aboard the ship were known to have survived the disaster late Thursday night, some by clinging to the sides of the overturned craft. Senegal Prime Minister Mame Madior Boye said nearby boats brought them to safety.

"It was horrible, because we were hearing people screaming from underneath," said hospitalized survivor Moussa Ndong, who escaped when the ferry capsized Thursday night.

"The boat went down so fast. It was so unbelievable in just three minutes, the boat went down," he said.

The state-owned Joola ferry capsized off Gambia in the Atlantic Ocean about 11 p.m. en route to the Senegalese capital, Dakar, from the south of the country. Gambia is a strip-shaped country only a few miles wide and divides north and south Senegal.

Dive teams recovered 88 bodies, said Mamadou Diop Thioune, a coordinator of a French-funded marine center. They spotted a number of corpses through the ferry windows, and believed the still unrecovered passengers and crew to be dead, with their corpses caught inside, he said.

"Now, I'm afraid, it's a matter of recovering bodies," he said.

The first corpses retrieved from the accident were being taken back to the port Friday.

Searchers waited as night fell Friday for the arrival of military divers with equipment to cut into the ferry, he said.

Ndong told The Associated Press by telephone from a hospital in neighboring Gambia that the storm brewed as the ferry made its way north from Senegal's southern district of Casamance.

As the wind built, the boat started tipping to one side, he said. Water rushed into the cabin. When the lights went out, he said, passengers started screaming.

Senegal declared three days of national mourning at midday Friday as the search for victims continued. Boye and other state officials went to the port to be with families.

President Abdoulaye Wade cut short a trip to France. Speaking briefly to reporters upon his return home, he pledged an investigation.

Families and friends rushed to the port in Dakar, sobbing and pounding their heads on walls.

"God have mercy! Pray! Pray everyone!" one woman, waiting with the rest for news of loved ones, pleaded. "Stop crying!"

Later, hundreds of people surrounded the locked gates of navy offices, demanding information about the search and rescue and its results. Among the throng, a woman screamed and tore her hair, sobbing for word of her daughter.

"Tell us whether she's alive," the woman shouted. "Can we please know whether she's alive?"

Ferries are the main way of transportation between north and south Senegal, in part because travel by road is slowed by border checks passing through Gambia. Merchants carrying dried fish, mangos and other goods from verdant Casamance make up many of the usual travelers aboard.

Angry men thronging the port denounced authorities, claiming the ferry had been riding low on one side, and never should have been allowed out of port.

Media reports said the ferry had undergone repairs, and had only recently returned to service after months in dock.

jet set willy
09-28-2002, 03:25 AM
Very sad

tear stained glass
09-28-2002, 03:29 AM
Jeez. That's terrible. Seven hundred-sixty? And on a government-owned ship. Jesus. They probably couldn't afford a fleet overhaul, though.

09-28-2002, 04:30 AM
Now this is sad.

09-28-2002, 12:54 PM

09-28-2002, 01:17 PM
good, more free parking spaces.

09-28-2002, 01:27 PM
Dang...that sucks...

I feel like this article is a fake tho.

Wonderland! youkoso kiminiwa Fairyland! ai no mahou nano
Love's all way! Mainichi fuwafuwa komugi no yuuwaku - Azumanga Daioh

09-28-2002, 01:30 PM
Even if it sez/links its from yahoo.

Maybe I'm just paranoid...

Wonderland! youkoso kiminiwa Fairyland! ai no mahou nano
Love's all way! Mainichi fuwafuwa komugi no yuuwaku - Azumanga Daioh

09-28-2002, 02:09 PM
It's true. It was in my local paper this morning.

Johnny Zoloft
09-28-2002, 02:12 PM
i guess that sucks...even if it doesn't affect me whatsoever.