Tanzania:Hundreds feared drowned in L.Victoria ferry disaster

Locals join the military in the search and rescue. Photo/Courtesy

Tanzanian rescue workers resumed search for survivors feared drowned after ‘overloaded’ ferry capsized in Lake Victoria on Thursday.

A passenger ferry capsized in the south of Lake Victoria killing at least 80 people.

Dozens of bodies were recovered on Friday morning when the rescue operation resumed at the crack of dawn.

Thirty-seven people were rescued after the MV Nyerere sank on Thursday near Ukara island in Africa’s largest lake.

Military carrying bodies at Ukara ferry incident. Photo/Courtesy

The boat had a capacity of 100 but it is still unknown how many people were on board.

Credible sources told Mkarimu that the vessel with 100-pasenger capacity ended up ferrying at least 300 people, although it was difficult to establish the exact number because the person dispensing tickets drowned in the incident.

One witness said that the ferry had a capacity of 100 people and it appeared to be overloaded.

The State television reported thirty-seven bodies were recovered on Friday morning when the rescue operation resumed at the crack of dawn.

However, hopes were fading for more people to be pulled out of the water alive.

“People are aware that the hopes of finding survivors are almost nil,” state television reported broadcasting footage of onlookers.

Accidents like these are not uncommon on Lake Victoria and overloading is often to blame.

In 1996, a ferry disaster on Lake Victoria in the same region killed more than 800 people.

In 2012, 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.

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