9 WAEC officials among the 17 missing in the sinking of a cargo ship
Nine officials from the West African Examination Council, WAEC, were among 17 people missing after the sinking of a freighter, the Niko Ivanka, off the coast of Liberia over the weekend.
Others on the manifesto were a Swedish captain, a Chinese crew member.
The Liberian-registered Niko Ivanka left the capital Monrovia for a port in the south of the country on Saturday, despite being taken into custody for failing to comply with basic security requirements.
Maritime Commissioner Eugene Nagbe said the ship was not cleared to go to sea.
The ship sent a distress signal that afternoon, advising the coast guard that it had taken on water. By the time the authorities arrived, it had already partially sunk.
Eighteen people were on the ship’s manifesto, 11 of whom had been rescued in a 36-hour search, Commissioner Nagbe told reporters on Monday.
But those rescued said there were actually around 28 people on board, leaving 17 missing.
“Right now our concern is a search and rescue mission,” Nagbe said.
“I’m focusing on the lives of these missing people. “
The precise number of passengers remained unknown, Deputy Information Minister Jarlaywah Tonpoe told Reuters.
“The ship was not an authorized passenger vessel and yet it had passengers on board,” Tonpoe said.
“So in the next few days the investigation will establish how many people were on board.”
It was not clear how or why the vessel was able to leave port or if it was carrying cargo at the time.
The ship’s owner, a Chinese national, was arrested on Sunday afternoon, Nagbe said.