Death toll reaches 136 in Tanzania ferry disaster

Hundreds more still feared missing

Published: September 21, 2018 15:57:22 | Updated: September 26, 2018 19:20:45

Image derived from internet

More than 136 bodies were recovered and hundreds more are still feared missing after a ferry sank on Lake Victoria in Tanzania on Friday, said Tanzania’s top police official Simon Sirro.

Rescuers are continuing their drives for survivors from daybreak on the morning after the disaster, reports Reuters.

Radio TBC Taifa reported the latest toll from the sinking of the ferry MV Nyerere, which capsized on Thursday afternoon just a few metres from the dock on Ukerewe, the lake’s biggest island, which is part of Tanzania.

Initial estimates suggested that the ferry was carrying more than 300 people.

Thirty-seven people had been rescued from the sea, Jonathan Shana, the regional police commander for the port of Mwanza on the south coast of the lake told Reuters by phone on Friday.

Shana said more rescuers had joined the operation when it resumed at daylight on Friday. He did not give exact numbers.

The precise number of those aboard the ferry when it capsized was hard to establish since crew and equipment had been lost, officials said on Thursday.

Tanzania has been hit by several major ferry disasters over the years.

At least 500 people were killed when a ferry capsized in Lake Victoria in 1996.

In 2012, 145 people died when a ferry sank off the shore of Tanzania’s Indian Ocean archipelago of Zanzibar.

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