Authorities in Zanzibar said that 145 people had been killed after a Tanzanian ferry sank near the Indian Ocean archipelago of Zanzibar.
Survivors have told the BBC that the crew gave them no instructions on how to evacuate and merely told them to calm down.
They say there was only one exit and that many people were trapped and went down with the ship when it sank off Chumbe island.
The ferry, with a maximum carrying capacity of 250 people according to Zanzibar marine authorities, was carrying 290 people, officials said.
“Out of the 68 dead victims, 54 bodies have been identified so far by their relatives and taken for burial,” Zanzibar police spokesman Mohammed Mhina saidsaid.
Preliminary reports indicated the vessel had capsized after being hit by strong winds and waves, he said. The ferry is owned by a company named Seagull, which also runs a number of other ferries.
Last September, more than 200 people were killed when a crowded ferry traveling between two islands of Zanzibar sank off the East African coast. Officials described it then as the worst accident in Tanzania’s maritime history.