TANZANIA: DISASTER/TBC/21/9/18 SABANews 1
LAKE VICTORIA – More than 100 people have been killed after a boat in which they were travelling capsized on Lake VICTORIA in TANZANIA.
RADIO TANZANIA says Police Chief Inspector General SIMON SIRRO has revealed the shocking figure at the scene during a rescuing exercise.
With a surface area of about 68-THOUSAND-800 square kilometres, Lake VICTORIA is the largest water body in AFRICA and the world’s largest tropical lake.
It also ranks as the world’s SECOND largest fresh water lake by surface area, after Lake SUPERIOR in North AMERICA; but it is has claimed thousands of lives over years.
Witnesses to the current tragedy say the MV NYERERE capsized close to the landing stage on UKARA Island, just a few meters before reaching its destination.
RADIO TANZANIA says the ferry may have been carrying as many as passengers double the ferry recommended capacity.
It quotes people who claim to have seen the accident as saying the boat toppled after passengers rushed to ONE side in readiness to disembark as they approached the dock.
The MWANZA Regional Police Commissioner, who is at the scene, has told the national broadcaster they found 42 bodies this FRIDAY morning, in addition to another 44 picked up the day before.
JOHN MONGELLA says the number of survivors has also increased from 37 to 40, but it is unclear whether, or not, the Police and Army divers have found any others since resumption of rescue operations this morning.
Media reports say about 200 people were killed in another major accident last year off the coast of ZANZIBAR: although hundreds others survived, with some found clinging to mattresses and fridges in the waters.
Earlier in 1996, TANZANIA had seen more than 800 people killed in ONE of the worst ferry disasters of the last century after the MV BUKOBA capsized on Lake VICTORIA./Sabanews/cam