A ship crammed with thousands of sheep sank in Sudan’s Red Sea port of Suakin, drowning most animals onboard but with all crew surviving, officials said.
The livestock vessel was exporting the animals from Sudan to Saudi Arabia when it sank. “The ship, Badr 1, sank during the early hours of Sunday morning,” a senior Sudanese port official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It was carrying 15,800 sheep.”
Another official, who said all crew were rescued, raised concerns over the economic and environmental impact of the accident. “The sunken ship will affect the port’s operation,” the official said. “It will also likely have an environmental impact due to the death of the large number of animals carried by the ship”.
Omar al-Khalifa, the head of the national exporters’ association, said the ship took several hours to sink at the pier – a window that suggested it “could have been rescued”.
The total value of the lost livestock was around 14 Saudi riyals ($3.7m), said Saleh Selim, the head of the association’s livestock division, who called for an investigation into the incident.