9 missing as boat capsizes off Tanzania

web_photo_boat_26062017

Boat. Sea.Sinking boat. Water.

Boat. Sea.Sinking boat. Water.

web_photo_boat_26062017

Boat. Sea.Sinking boat. Water.

Boat. Sea.Sinking boat. Water.

STONE TOWN, Tanzania - At least nine people were missing Wednesday after a boat carrying construction materials capsized while heading toward the Zanzibar archipelago off Tanzania, maritime authorities said.

The vessel, the Masha Allah, sank on the route between Tanga and Pemba, one of the two main islands of the archipelago, and none of the three crew members and at least six passengers have been found since the accident was reported on Tuesday morning.

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The boat was transporting "several tonnes of building materials, mainly cement in bags," said Sheikha Ahmed of the Zanzibar Maritime Authority.

Ahmed said the boat may have been overloaded, or the waves were particularly high in an area where sinkings are common but are rarely reported.

READ: 100 feared missing after boat sinks in C. Africa: officials

Most boats working the Zanzibar islands are smaller vessels in poor conditions, lacking emergency or communications equipment.

The distance between the port of Tanga and Pemba is about 50 kilometres.