Up to 127 feared dead in Cameroon boat disaster

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The Independent Online

Up to 127 people were feared drowned after a boat carrying 150 passengers sank off the port of Kribi on Cameroon's Atlantic coast yesterday.

The sinking boat was discovered by a fisherman who alerted his colleagues and people living in coastal villages. They rushed to the scene and rescued 23 people, state radio said.

"Bodies were seen floating on the sea and some survivors could be seen hanging desperately to cargo," the radio reported.

The boat was believed to be travelling from the eastern Nigerian port of Oron to Port Gentil in Gabon. Passengers included nationals of Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Benin and Mali.

A Red Cross co-ordinator, Francois Mahouwa, said it was too soon to give a final death toll. "The rescue mission has been carried out by fishermen. The sea was very rough. They were in a wooden boat with a lot of people on board. It seems that a wave broke the wood and water started to enter," he said.REUTERS

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