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Death toll from shipwreck off Madagascar rises to 34

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Antananarivo, March 15 (IANS) The death toll from the sinking of an “unregistered” boat off northwestern Madagascar has risen to 34, an official said.

“In total, 11 lifeless bodies were found on Tuesday during the (search) operation, bringing the number of passengers on the boat to 58, including 24 survivors and 34 dead,” said Mamy Thierry Randrianarivony, director of sea operations of the Port, Maritime and River Agency (APMF), in a video posted on social networks on Tuesday.

The authorities are still investigating the cause of the incident, Xinhua news agency reported.

The boat bound for the French Indian Ocean island of Mayotte sank on Saturday night in the seas off Ankazomborona in northwestern Madagascar. On Monday, the Ministry of Transport and Meteorology said 47 passengers were on board.

The APMF has decided to roll out measures to avoid such accidents, including strengthening the monitoring of standards required for the manufacturing and maintenance of maritime craft, as well as the professionalisation of marine mechanics, Randrianarivony added.

–IANS

int/khz/

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