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Tanzania ferry disaster toll rises to 170

by kenya-tribune
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The number of people who died in Thursday’s MV Nyerere ferry tragedy on Lake Victoria has risen to 170.

The Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC), has reported that 24 more bodies were recovered Saturday morning.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has sent condolence message to the bereaved families.

“I express our most sincere condolences….no words can adequately express our grief following this tragic accident. My heart goes out to those who have lost their lives and their families” the President said in a statement.

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“We, as your neighbour, are deeply heartbroken by what happened. Allow me to express our solidarity and support with our brothers and sisters in Tanzania, with whom we’ve been friends and have deep ties, and to assure them that we will lend every needed support he added.

As of Friday evening, a total of 136 bodies had been covered, according to the country’s Transport Minister, Isaack Kamwelwe.

The ferry was travelling from Bugorora on Ukerewe island to Ukara island when it capsized 50 metres from the berth as it was about to dock.

The state broadcaster, quoting the transport minister said the rescue operation is still underway to recover more bodies. Ukerewe district commissioner, Cornel Maghembe, said the ferry was overloaded with cargo and passengers.

According to him, the ferry has a capacity of only 100 passengers and 25 tonnes of cargo but it had more than 400 people on board.

The captain of the ferry capsized has been arrested, President John Magufuli has said amid fears of a rising casualty figure.

On Friday, Magufuli also ordered arrests of all those responsible for the operation of the vessel.

The MV Nyerere sank on Thursday near Ukerewe Island on the Tanzanian side of Lake Victoria.

The cause of the accident was not immediately clear, but overloading is frequently to blame for such incidents.

The vessel’s capacity was said to be 100 but state television, citing witnesses, reported that more than 200 people were on-board the ferry.



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