President Paul Kagame has on Friday sent a condolence message to the families of the victims of Thursday tragedy in which a ferry capsized in Lake Victoria and claimed more than 100 lives.
“Our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims of the Lake Victoria ferry accident. Our thoughts are with you. We cannot thank the rescuers enough,” President Kagame tweet read in part.
On Thursday around 3:20 PM, East Africa time, the ferry MV Nyerere has capsized on Lake Victoria and sank just a few meters from the dock on Ukerewe – Lake Victoria’s biggest island on the Tanzanian side.
More than 100 bodies have been found until today afternoon (Friday) according to Police chief Inspector General Simon Sirro who spoke at the scene during rescuing exercise where the ferry overturned.
Thirty-seven people were rescued after the MV Nyerere sank on Thursday near Ukerewe island on Africa’s largest lake.
“People are aware that the hopes of finding survivors are almost nil,” Tanzanian state television reported.
The cause of the accident was not immediately clear, but overloading is frequently to blame for such incidents.
The number of dead was expected to rise, according to witnesses.
President John Magufuli said he ordered the arrest of “all those involved in the management of the ferry”.
“It appears clear that the ferry was overloaded. The arrests have already begun,” he said in a speech on TBC One public television, also referring to “negligence”.
In 1996, a ferry disaster in the same region killed more than 500 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.
The Express News