Detectives investigate ferry-ship near tragedy

In Summary

• Gowa said the outcome of the probe being supervised by the ministry of transport would be released by next week.

The Likoni ferry crossing channel.
The Likoni ferry crossing channel.
Image: FILE

Agencies have heightened investigations into an incident where hundreds of commuters cheated death in a near-collision of a cargo ship and a ferry loaded with hundreds of commuters at the Likoni-Ferry crossing channel.

On Friday, KFS managing director Bakari Gowa told the Star that investigations were ongoing on the matter which has left many ferry users in shock.

A video clip released this week captured by a commuter shows an oncoming cargo ship with a ferry which was midway, prompting the coxswain to turn the ferry 90 degrees to avoid a collision.

The incident happened last week but was released two days ago resulting in a public outcry on safety concerns, prompting KFS to jump into defence.

But protests saw KFS and Kenya Maritime Authority launch investigations into the incident which could have resulte into a disaster similar to Mtongwe 1994 ferry disaster which killed more than 200 commuters.

Gowa said the outcome of the probe being supervised by the ministry of transport would be released by next week.

“We are doing that because we cannot let this go just like that,” Gowa said.

He dismissed reports that many other incidents have gone unreported.

“If you use the ferry on a daily basis you know any incidence cannot escape the eyes of everyone on ferry,” he said.

Individuals under probe include the coxswain, manager on duty and other staff.

“We are not specific... we are looking at the whole incident,” Gowa added.

An estimated 300,000 people and more than 3,000 vehicles use the Likoni ferry service daily.

Last year, Tanzania a passenger ferry MV Nyerere capsized in Lake Victoria killing more than 200 on board.