43 corpses recovered in capsizing of Mali boat
KOUBI, Mali — Mahmoudou Ibrahim combed the waters frantically for his family after they and hundreds of other passengers were catapulted into the Niger River when their boat capsized.
Amid the cries for help in the darkness of night, he listened in vain for the sound of their voices.
On Sunday morning, crews pulled the bloated bodies of three of his children from the river: 1-year-old Ahmadou, 3-year-old Salamata and 4-year-old Fatouma.
There is still no sign of his wife, Zeinabou, or their 5-year-old twin girls, who were last seen curled up on mats aboard the ship.
“The pain that I feel today is beyond excruciating,” he said from the village cemetery where he buried the remains of his three children on Sunday in the sandy dirt.
By nightfall, a total of 43 corpses had been recovered from the river since the accident on Friday night, said Hamadoun Cisse, a local official in charge of tracking casualty figures.
Passengers on the capsized boat said they believed hundreds of people were on the overladen vessel when it sank Friday. But the ship's owner did not have a full list of who was on board, making it impossible to determine the actual number of people missing.
The boat was headed from the central port of Mopti to the northern desert city of Timbuktu, packed full of people traveling for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha this week. Many Malians choose to travel by river, even though the journey takes several days and nights, because it is easier than traversing the region's poor desert roads.
The accident took place near the village of Koubi, about four miles from Konna.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.