Sunday, 13 October 2013

Death toll in Banjul - Barra boat disaster reaches 7

Death toll in Banjul - Barra boat accident has climbed to 7, according to a family member of one of the victims who wished not be named.

The accident which happened on Wednesday, was only made public after the bodies were recovered at sea on Friday.

One of the victims of the tragedy was Yusupha Fofana, a businessman from Banjul. A relative of Mr. Fofana said they believed the passengers boarded a canoe bound for Barra at about 9 PM local time on Wednesday. The canoe split open just few miles to the shore, drowning all but the captain who swam to safety and reported the accident to police.

Details are yet to emerge, but it's believed the ill-fated passengers boarded the small boat to go shopping for rams as the Muslim feast of Idl-Adha is celebrated on Tuesday.

The Gambia Ferry Services has not had safe operational ferries for months between the capital city, Banjul, and the north bank wharf town of Barra.

The absence of safe operational ferry services between Banjul and Barra has caused major transportation difficulties for tens of thousands of commuters and businesses. Many risk their lives by ferrying in unsafe canoes and vessels to avoid hours of being stranded aboard public ferries.

Ferry services used to be operated by Gambia Public Transportation Company, GPTC, which has gone bankrupt few years ago.

Recently the UK government has advised its citizens traveling to Gambia to avoid using the ferry services for safety reasons. The advice followed reports of ferries having mechanical failures in mid ocean, causing panic among passengers as they remained adrift in the Atlantic for hours.

Sunday 13 October 2013


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