Monday, 10 December, 2018

Fears for hundreds missing after ferry capsizes in Tanzania

Количество жертв при крушении парома в Танзании возросло до 86 Tanzania ferry disaster: Hundreds feared dead as 'overcrowded' boat sinks in Lake Victoria
Deanna Wagner | 21 September, 2018, 03:34

Dozens of people have died in Tanzania when a passenger ferry capsized in the south of Lake Victoria, an official said on Thursday.

Mwanza Regional Police Commander Jonathan Shanna said the accident occurred on Thursday September 20.

He can not say how many people were on board until the search and rescue operation is over.

He added that rescue operations had been suspended and would resume on Friday morning.

Authorities led rescue efforts after MV Nyerere ferry, that plies Ukala and Bugolora-in Ukerewe, Mwanza, sunk.

It was hard to establish the precise number of passengers on board since the person dispensing tickets had also drowned, with the machine recording the data lost.

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Al Jazeera's Catherine Soi, reporting from Nairobi in neighbouring Kenya, said the boat was also carrying cargo when it went down.

Temesa Spokesperson Ms Theresia Mwami said the exact number of casualties had not yet been established.

Accidents are common on Africa's largest lake, Victoria, where boats often depart overcrowded.

The Tanzania Electrical, Mechanical and Electronics Services Agency (Temesa), which operates ferry services, said the MV Nyerere did not have any mechanical problems because heavy maintenance had been carried on it in recent months including overhauling two engines.

In 2012, at least 145 people died in a ferry disaster in Tanzania's semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean, on a vessel that was overcrowded.

In 1996, a ferry tragedy in the same area of Lake Victoria killed at least 500 people.