Dozens missing in ferry accident off French island | india | Hindustan Times
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Dozens missing in ferry accident off French island

india Updated: Sep 12, 2006 11:39 IST
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A ferry accident near the French-administered Indian Ocean island of Mayotte left 33 people missing and feared dead, local authorities said after word of the mishap reached land.

Prefecture officials in Mayotte said, 76 people were aboard the ferry al-Moubarak when it capsized on Saturday in high winds on a trip from Madagascar to the nearby Comoros Islands. The accident went undiscovered until one person from the boat washed up on Monday on a Mayotte beach in a life ring.

A rescue effort began, and Mayotte authorities used ultra-light aircraft to find lifeboats carrying ferry survivors. Police vessels and French navy ships participated in the search in which 43 people were rescued.

Shifting of cargo onboard the ferry has been suggested as a possible cause of the accident. Mayotte is claimed by the Comoros in a dispute with France.