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People search for victims after a shipwreck in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, April 21, 2024. Xinhua

Death toll climbs to 62 in Central African Republic shipwreck

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The death toll from a shipwreck that occurred Friday in the Central African Republic (CAR) has risen to 62, locals and authorities said on Sunday.

According to Maick Azoumale, a sand digger on river Mpoko where the tragedy occurred, four more bodies, of three women and a child, were located overnight into Sunday.

The country’s Director General of Civil Protection, Thomas Dimasse, told local media Saturday that they “were able to extract 58 bodies, lifeless. We don’t know the total number of people underwater.”

He confirmed the figure to Xinhua and said more people were still missing. “About 50 relatives of the victims continue to put pressure in the hope of finding the bodies of their loved ones. We are currently working with volunteers, especially sand diggers who are helping us find the bodies of the missing,” Dimasse said.

The passengers were heading to the village of Mokelo, in the commune of Bimbo, Ombella-Mpoko prefecture, for the burial of a group leader, according to witnesses.

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