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8 Drown When Ship Sinks Off Gabon

May 13, 2002

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SAO TOME, Sao Tome and Principe (AP) _ A ship sank off the coast of Gabon, drowning eight people, including six children and a pregnant woman, a government official said Monday.

The ship, which was on its way to this island group about 150 miles off the West African coast, sank late Saturday about 25 miles from Gabon, said Justice Minister Alda Melo. The Babenzelle was carrying 32 passengers, 10 crew and cargo.

She said the cause of the accident was not known. The ship sent a distress call before going down, and nearby vessels and two Gabon army helicopters conducted rescue operations.

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