15,800 sheep worth about $4 million dropped in Red Sea


15,000 sheep sank in the Red Sea after a ship overcrowded livestock docks in the port of Sudan

15,800 sheep worth about $4 million dropped in Suakin Port on Sunday

Badr 1 has a capacity of 9000 head of cattle and only 700 head of sheep

The sinking could potentially disrupt the port and cause environmental problems with animal carcasses.

Officials said that a ship packed with thousands of sheep sank in Sudan on Sunday, killing most of the animals on board.

The "Badr 1" livestock transport ship had 15,800 sheep, despite its 9,000 carrying capacity when it was trying to export livestock to Saudi Arabia from the port of Suakin in Sudan.

All crew members on board survived the disaster - but the number of dead animals could cause environmental problems for the port.

An unnamed Sudanese port official told AFP: "The Badr 1 sank in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Livestock owners only recovered about 700 head of sheep from the sinking ship.

The lost livestock is estimated at 4 million dollars and was destined for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

"It was carrying 15,800 sheep, which was well beyond its load limits."

The official said: The sunken ship will affect the work of the port. It is also likely to have an environmental impact due to the death of many animals carried by ship."

Livestock loss is estimated to be around $4 million.

Omar Al-Khalifa, head of the National Exporters Union, said the ship took several hours to sink into the berth - a window meaning it could have been salvaged.

Saleh Selim, head of the livestock department of the association, said that the total value of the lost livestock "is about 14 million Saudi riyals, equivalent to four million dollars," stressing that the sheep were loaded onto the ship at Suakin Port.

He said that the livestock owners only recovered about 700 heads of sheep, "but they were found very sick, and we do not expect them to live long."

Selim demanded an investigation into the accident.

Local sources said that 700 heads of the rescued cattle are not expected to live long.

Omar Al-Khalifa, president of the National Exporters Union, said the ship took several hours to sink into the berth - a window that meant it could have been salvaged.

The historic port city of Suakin was no longer Sudan's main foreign trade center, a role taken by Port Sudan, about 60 kilometers (40 mi).

There have been moves to Suakin Port, but a 2017 agreement with Turkey to restore historic buildings and expand port docks was put on hold after President Omar al-Bashir was ousted.

Sudan is still suffering from a chronic economic crisis that was exacerbated in the aftermath of the military coup led by the army chief, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan.

The military's seizure of power led to punitive measures, including aid cuts by Western governments, which demanded the reinstatement of the transitional administration after al-Bashir was overthrown.

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