Magufuli mourns as death toll from Tanzania ferry accident reaches 42

Tanzania ferry disaster: Hundreds feared dead as 'overcrowded' boat sinks in Lake Victoria

Tanzania ferry disaster: Hundreds feared dead as 'overcrowded' boat sinks in Lake Victoria

A regional official says at least 42 people have died with rescue efforts continuing on Friday morning.

The ferry is believed to have had hundreds of people on board, though officials are yet to confirm the number of passengers.

The exact number of people on board is hard to determine, with Reuters reporting that the person dispensing tickets was among those who drowned, and that recording data has also been lost. The cause of the incident was not immediately clear, but overloading is frequently found to blame.

The Tanzania Electrical, Mechanical and Electronics Services Agency confirmed the accident.

The ferry was also carrying cargo when it capsized close to the dock.

Government sources said 40 were confirmed dead but there were more than 200 people "feared drowned" as rescue operations continued.

Fishermen rescuing victims of the tragedy
Fishermen rescuing victims of the tragedy

Temesa Spokesperson Ms Theresia Mwami said the exact number of casualties had not yet been established.

Boats on Lake Victoria are often packed with too many passengers.

She said the ferry did not have any mechanical problems and TEMESA had carried out heavy maintenance on it in recent months, including overhauling two engines.

Some of the deadliest have occurred in Tanzania, where passenger boats are often said to be old and in poor condition.

Six years ago, 144 people died or disappeared when an overloaded ferry sank off the semi-autonomous Tanzanian island of Zanzibar.

President John Magufuli has sent his condolences to victims of a ferry accident that has killed at least 42 people according to a statement from State House.

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