Maputo, 19 May (AIM) – 11 people are said to be missing after a shipwreck that occurred last Sunday on the Shire River, in the central Mozambican province of Zambézia.
The boat involved, according to Friday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Notícias”, was carrying over thirty illegal immigrants coming from N’sange, in neighbouring Malawi.
They intended to enter Zambézia’s Morrumbala district, with the final goal of reaching South Africa.
According to eyewitnesses, the boat hit a hippopotamus and the passengers fell into the river. “This is not the first time that this type of accident has occurred. There are always boats carrying illegal immigrants”, said the witnesses.
For his part, João Nhabessa, the Morrrumbala district administrator, said that the search for the bodies is still under way.
“There are always boats crossing the Shire River, but sometimes they do not obey security regulations, and, they become overcrowded”, the administrator acknowledged.
He added that the river is frequently used by illegal immigrants of various nationalities coming from Malawi, despite the surveillance by the Mozambican police.