The official death toll from the sinking of a British cross-channel car ferry off the Belgian coast rose to 193. Provincial Governor Oliver Vanneste said, revising earlier figures from the disaster, said 408 people had been saved out of the 543 people on board. Vanneste spoke almost 24 hours after the ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsized shortly after leaving this northern Belgian port bound for Dover, England with 543 mainly British passengers and crew. Divers said there was practically no hope of finding more people alive in the ice-cold water. Survivors told stories of anguish and one said, “it was total panic when the water rushed in.” Some witnesses said the bow door of the 8,000-ton roll-on roll-off ferry, lying on its side off Zeebrugge Harbour, was open. But Vanneste discounted reports that these doors were not properly shut when the ferry sailed. The ferry had just left for Dover. England, when it capsized in calm seas about one mile off Zeebruggc.
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1922 The US prohibit the export of arms to China.
1945 Petru Groza becomes Prime Minister of Romania.
1946 France recognises Vietnam as a free state within the Indochina Federation.
1953 Georgi Malenkov succeeds the late Joseph Stalin as Prime Minister of the Soviet Union.
1957 Gold Coast and Togoland form independent West African nation of Ghana.
1964 American heavy-weight boxing champion Cassius Clay changes his name to Muhammad Ali.
1970 Alexander Dubcek, former Czech Communist Party boss, is suspended from party.
1975 Arab militant raid on a Tel Aviv hotel leaves 14 dead.
1981 Hijackers shoot and kill one of their 116 hostages aboard a Pakistani airliner at Kabul airport and throw him onto the tarmac.
1988 Thousands of Tibetans demanding independence set fires throughout their capital city of Lhasa.
1990 Afghan defence minister Shahnawaz Tanai leads unsuccessful coup attempt against government of Najibullah.
1993 Unita rebels capture Angola’s second largest city, Huambo, after a two-month battle with government troops.
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1999 An Air France Boeing 747 freighter with faulty landing gear ploughs into the runway at Chennai and bursts into flames soon after.
2003 Air Algerie plane crashes after taking off from the Sahara desert town of Tamanrasset, killing 102 passengers abroad.
2005 Monaco’s Prince Rainier III dies at the age of 81.
2006 Kuwait’s Parliament approves a new press law that takes away the government’s right to close down newspapers without court ruling.
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2008 Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega announces that he is breaking relations with Colombia.
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2013 Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez dies after a two-year battle against cancer.
2014 A Nato air strike in eastern Afghanistan accidentally kills five Afghan soldiers.
2016 Iran’s billionaire tycoon Babak Zanjani is sentenced to death for corruption.