At least 100 killed after boat capsizes in Tanzania

MV Nyerere

An image grab taken from a video provided by Tanzania's StarTV channel reportedly shows people removing bodies of victims from the water after the ferry MV Nyerere capsized in Lake Victoria, Tanzania, on 21 September 2018.

Mwanza regional governor John Mongella said search teams were awaiting the arrival of a "device" to turn the wreck over to speed up the search.

Joseph Mkundi, a lawmaker for the Ukerewe district, told AFP the engineer had shut himself into a "special room".

They pulled a man out of the overturned ship soon after and he was rushed to hospital, a Reuters witness said, while bodies continued to float to the surface around the vessel.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli said the captain is in custody and ordered the arrest of all the other operators of the ferry, which capsized Thursday. The precise number was unknown, however, because the ticket-seller had drowned and the machine recording sales had not been found.

Another survivor, Jennifer Idhoze, said the ferry had capsized because it was overloaded.

Four days of national mourning have been announced.

As of Friday evening a total of 136 bodies had been recovered, according to the Minister of Transport, Communications, Works, Isaack Kamwelwe.

"This equipment will increase efficiency in the rescue operation and we will continue with the search until we are satisfied that we have rescued everyone", he said. It's thought the ship tipped over when too many passengers moved over to one side. The Nyerere was crowded because it was a market day. "He had gone with his wife but she has not been found yet".

One resident, Editha Josephat Magesa, said: "I received a call telling me that I have lost my aunt, father and my younger brother". The man's condition was not immediately clear. "We did not choose to be born here, we have nowhere to go", he said.

Mnyika said overloading was "another failure of the authorities" and criticised "inadequate relief efforts as well as delays" in the rescue operation.

Accidents are often reported on the large freshwater lake surrounded by Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

More recently, hundreds of people were confirmed dead when the MV Spice Islander I sank off the coast of the archipelago of Zanzibar in 2011.

In the poor Tanzania, the incidents of boat capsizing are common.

It is learnt that the ferry is carrying almost 400 people.

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