17 women died in central Senegal in a fishing boat accident

Fishing boats lying at the river bank in Senegal

A Senegalese radio station says 17 women have drowned and at least 40 others injured after their boat capsized near a village in central Senegal.

Private station RFM says the boat was carrying at least 60 people who had gone to gather oysters Monday in the waters off Bettenty village.

RFM says the injured were treated at a health outpost that had only a nurse and midwife.

Senegal’s central region is made up of a number of small islands and villages. Residents often travel by small fishing boats, rarely wearing life vests. Accidents are common as boats often are overloaded.

Senegalese President Macky Sall has called for three days of mourning.

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