TANZANIA: Not fewer than 136 people were confirmed dead and several others missing after a ferry capsized on Lake Victoria on Thursday.
The ferry, taged, MV Nyerere, was preparing to dock at Ukerewe Island in Africa and world largest tropical lake, Lake Victoria, when it suddenly overturned at 2.05 pm on Thursday.
Several locals, who were waiting on the Ukerewe Island – the largest island in the lake – watched sorrowfully as the overcrowded ferry toppled over, about 50 meters away from the dock at Ukara island.
Locals on the island are believed to have raised an alert and joined in the rescue effort after emergency crews launched frantic efforts to hunt for survivors.
Rescue efforts by emergency teams lasted several hours after the incident but were eventually suspended late on Thursday, to begin again at dawn.
Officials from the Tanzanian government said that 42 people were confirmed dead and hundreds of onboard the ferry, were still missing.
Addressing newsmen, late on Thursday, George Nyamaha, Head of Ukerewe District Council said, “There were more than 100 passengers onboard when the ferry sank. It is obvious that a significant number have lost their lives.
“However, local reports quoted witnesses as saying that the ill-fated ferry, which was travelling from Bugorora Island to Ukara Island, was severely overcrowded.
Investigation revealed that, the ferry had a capacity of 100 people and was believed to be carrying about 400 persons, along with heavy bags and luggages.