Boat accident in Madagascar kills at least 83 people

A boat accident off the northeast coast of Madagascar on Monday killed at least 83 people, the country’s maritime agency said on Wednesday.

Fifty people have been rescued and five are still missing, a spokesman for the Agency for Sea and River Ports (APMF) told CNN. The ship, which was carrying 138 people, sank Monday night, according to the APMF. The vessel, a freighter named “France,” was not authorized to carry people, the APMF spokesman said. The boat was overloaded and water flooded the engine, APMF director of offshore operations Mamy Randrianavony said, according to Reuters.

Searches were suspended WednesdayGeneral Serge Gelle swam for nearly 12 hours to shore after the search helicopter he was in crashed into the sea late Monday amid efforts to locate survivors of the ship’s crash, he said. the APMF. Gelle, who heads the National Gendarmerie, was found alive Tuesday morning after swimming for nearly 12 hours, the APMF spokesman told CNN on Wednesday. due to bad weather and should resume on Thursday, the APMF said.

Gelle said in a statement Tuesday that the helicopter crashed due to “gusts of wind.” He was accompanying Prime Minister Christian Ntsay and Minister of National Defense General Leon Richard Rakotonirina, who had traveled to the region to supervise search operations in a separate helicopter. President Andry Rajoelina applauded his efforts in a tweet on Wednesday, saying he “ordered his full devotion” to the task. The APMF said the helicopter had three other passengers on board when it crashed.

A mechanic, a pilot and Colonel Olivier Andrianambinina. The mechanic was found alive and rescued Tuesday, the APMF said. Andrianambinina’s body was found while the search for the pilot is still ongoing, he said. Rajoelina announced a national day of mourning for Thursday

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