Survivor found in capsized Tanzania ferry

MV Nyerere

MV Nyerere

"I have also ordered that all those responsible for the operations of the MV Nyerere vessel be arrested for questioning", President Magufuli said in a televised address from the Dar es Salaam State House. At least 40 people were brought to safety on Thursday as dozens of security forces and volunteers wearing gloves and face masks spent the day hauling bodies into wooden boats.

CNN's attempts to reach a government spokesman have been unsuccessful.

Initial reports indicated that overloading contributed to the deadly disaster, but an investigation will determine the exact cause, the Tanzanian leader said. Capsizes are not uncommon and the number of deaths is often high because of a shortage of lifejackets and the fact that many people in the region can not swim. Local media say the ferry might have been carrying 200 passengers when it capsized.

Anxious residents on Friday waited for any word of survivors.

The works, transport and communication minister, Isack Kamwelwe, said the government was sending sophisticated equipment to aid the rescue. "We have to remove the luggage first to get to the bodies". He was among eight engineers aboard the ferry when it capsized, and he'd locked himself inside the engine room since Thursday.

"It appears clear that the ferry was overloaded", he said.

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"I received a call telling me that I have lost my aunt, father and my younger brother", Editha Josephat Magesa said. "That the boat he was traveling in was about to sink".

Tanzanian ferries often carry hundreds of passengers and are overcrowded, and there are shifts in weight as passengers move to disembark. "Then the phone went off". He found out Friday his friend had died.

The man survived by being trapped in an air pocket inside the stricken ship that capsized near Ukara island.

The ferry was said to have been particularly busy because it was market day in Bugorora, on Ukerewe island.

On Friday, onlookers bore witness to a grim rescue operation as scores of bodies were pulled out of the waters of Africa's biggest lake. The disaster highlights the issue of unsafe overcrowding on ferries in the region.

The ferry may have been carrying nearly 200 passengers, which is double its capacity, when it capsized close to the Ukara Island on Thursday, according to reports on state media.

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