Published: Mon, September 24, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Death toll rises to above 100 in Tanzania ferry sinking

Death toll rises to above 100 in Tanzania ferry sinking

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

"Let's leave designated authorities to investigate", he said.

"It is unfortunate that our operation on the lake is no longer rescue but largely recovery", said the Commissioner.

"We are really saddened and urge the government to provide a new ferry because the old one was small and the population is big".

It is not clear how many people were on board.

Domina Maua, who was among those at the dockside seeking information about survivors, said: "I have not heard from either my father or my younger brother who were on the ferry".

At least 40 people were rescued but scores of bodies have been recovered. "That is how I survived", she said.

"There were more than a hundred passengers on board when the ferry sank, it is feared that a significant number have lost their lives", said George Nyamaha, the head of Ukerewe district council. The rescuers were also retrieving dozens of bodies from the water.

Image Map showing Lake Victoria
Ukerewe is Lake Victoria’s biggest

Pope Francis, the United Nations secretary-general, Russian President Vladimir Putin and a number of African leaders expressed shock and sorrow.

The ageing ferry, whose hull and propellers were all that remained visible after it overturned, was also carrying cargo, including sacks of maize, bananas and cement, when it capsized around 50 metres (55 yards) from Ukara dock.

Anxious residents on Friday waited for any word of survivors. "We did not choose to be born here, we have nowhere to go", he said.

Mongella said 218 people had been confirmed dead, while 41 escaped the tragedy with their lives - a total figure far above the official capacity of the boat, which was in theory only able to carry 101 passengers.

A passenger ferry on the southern end of Tanzania's Lake Victoria sank near Ukara Island on Thursday, killing at least 79 people, a government agency said.

Accidents are often reported on the large freshwater lake surrounded by Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

And in 2011, almost 200 people died when the MV Spice Islander I sank off Tanzania's Indian Ocean coast near Zanzibar.

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