CAPE ESTERIAS, Gabon (AFP) – At least 30 people died when their boat capsized off the Gabonese capital Libreville, AFP journalists and rescue workers said Thursday, the latest disaster off the west African coast.
Police said the boat, which was carrying 65 people thought to be illegal immigrants, capsized in stormy weather overnight as it was travelling from Nigeria to Libreville.
AFP journalists counted 30 bodies lying along the shore, with the boat still visible in the waters of Cape Esterias, which lies about 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Libreville.
A gendarme who requested anonymity said there were at least eight survivors among the passengers thought to be illegal immigrants from Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso.
Last week, a boat carrying an estimated 128 people sank off Nigeria’s southern coast. An emergency official said Thursday that 29 people have so far been rescued in that accident, but that the search for survivors is still ongoing.