At least 42 drowned in Lake Victoria ferry sinking, death toll could top 200 - officials

By Nuzulack Dausen DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - At least 42 people drowned when a ferry sank on Thursday in Tanzania's Lake Victoria and government officials feared the final death toll could be more than 200, a senior local official said. Ukerewe District Commissioner Colonel Lucas Magembe told Reuters that the rescue mission to find survivors from the disaster had been halted until dawn on Friday with 42 people confirmed dead. Initial estimates showed that the MV Nyerere was carrying more than 300 people onboard

Reuters September 21, 2018 03:06:03 IST
At least 42 drowned in Lake Victoria ferry sinking, death toll could top 200 - officials

At least 42 drowned in Lake Victoria ferry sinking death toll could top 200  officials

By Nuzulack Dausen

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - At least 42 people drowned when a ferry sank on Thursday in Tanzania's Lake Victoria and government officials feared the final death toll could be more than 200, a senior local official said.

Ukerewe District Commissioner Colonel Lucas Magembe told Reuters that the rescue mission to find survivors from the disaster had been halted until dawn on Friday with 42 people confirmed dead.

Initial estimates showed that the MV Nyerere was carrying more than 300 people onboard. It went down in the afternoon just a few metres from the dock in Ukerewe district, according to national ferry services operator TEMESA said.

But it was hard to establish the precise number of passengers on board since the person dispensing tickets had also drowned with the machine recording the data lost.

TEMESA spokeswoman Theresia Mwami said the operator had carried out maintenance on the ferry in recent months, overhauling two engines.

In 1996, a ferry disaster on Lake Victoria in the same region killed at least 500 people.

In 2012, at least 145 people died in a ferry disaster in Tanzania's semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean, on a vessel that was overcrowded.

(Reporting by Nuzulack Dausen; Additional reporting by George Obulutsa in Nairobi; Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.