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10 September 2009 

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At Least 200 Feared Dead in Sierra Leone Boat Accident

10 September 2009

Map of Freetown, Sierra Leone
Officials in Sierra Leone say at least 200 people are missing and feared drowned after a boat capsized off the coast of the west African nation.

Eight people have been confirmed dead and 37 have been rescued as officials continue to search for survivors.  

Transportation authorities have been unable to determine the exact number of passengers.  

Police said the boat, carrying a large number of schoolchildren, turned over late Wednesday in a heavy storm south of the capital, Freetown.  

Authorities have not said what caused the accident. However, maritime accidents are not uncommon in Sierra Leone where boats are often overloaded and safety standards are frequently lacking or ignored.  

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters. 

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