Publicado: Sol, Setiembre 23, 2018
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

Tanzania: Death Toll in Lake Victoria Tragedy Reaches 196

Tanzania: Death Toll in Lake Victoria Tragedy Reaches 196

The captain of the ferry that capsized in Tanzania, killing at least 151 people, has been arrested, President John Magufuli has said amid fears of a rising casualty figure.

Authorities were able to rescue 37 people after the passenger ferry went down just meters from the dock on Thursday.

It is unknown how many passengers were aboard the MV Nyerere, but some estimates suggested there were more than 300 passengers, far above the ship's capacity of 101 people.

Dar es Salaam - The number of people who died in the Lake Victoria MV Nyerere ferry disaster has reached 196.

The retrieved body of a victim of the MV Nyerere passenger ferry lies at the scene on Ukara Island, Tanzania Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.

"It's been a bit hard because of the fact that the ferry overturned with people and luggage", Transport Minister Isack Kamwele said.

Mwanza regional commissioner John Mongella tells reporters that the engineer was found near the engine of the vessel.

President Magufuli referred to negligence as the cause of the accident and said he had ordered the arrest of those involved in the ferry's management, during a speech on TBC One public television. "The arrests have already begun", he added.

Rescue workers examine the hull of the ferry that overturned in Lake Victoria
Image The ferry overturned in Lake Victoria with hundreds of people on board

In 1996, more than 800 people died when passenger and cargo ferry MV Bukoba sank on Lake Victoria. "They had gone to the market in Bugolora to buy a school uniform and other supplies for the new school term", said Domina Maua, among those seeking information about loved ones. "My God, what did I do to deserve this?" she said.

Sebastian John, a teacher, said such tragedies had become part of life for those living on the lake. The man's condition was not immediately clear.

The country's opposition has accused the government of "negligence".

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

With a surface area of 70,000 sq km (27,000 sq miles), the oval-shaped Lake Victoria is shared by Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.

Capsizes are not uncommon in the massive lake, and the number of fatalities is often high due to a shortage of life jackets and the fact that many people in the region can not swim.

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

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