By Abimbola Ogunnaike
The Gabonese Government late on Tuesday,14 March, 2023 confirmed that at least 21 people died and 16 others are still missing after a ferry sank off the coast of Gabon’s capital Libreville last Thursday, 9 March, 2023.
A total of 124 people were rescued after the ferry, known as the “Esther Miracle” from the Royal Coast Marine company, sank at 3:58 a.m. local time (0258 GMT) last Thursday, and rescue operations are ongoing.
Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba declared Monday evening, 13 March, 2023, three days of national mourning starting from Tuesday in memory of the victims of the sinking.
“Tuesday, March 14, Wednesday, March 15 and Thursday, March 16 will be days of national mourning. In addition, throughout this national mourning, all festive and sporting events in the country will be suspended,” said the president.
The ferry carrying passengers and goods was bound for Port-Gentil, the second largest of the Central African country. The ship was relatively new, according to local media.