At least 136 bodies were recovered from Lake Victoria in Tanzania after a ferry capsized, with worries high the death toll will rise, President John Magufuli told a local newspaper.
According to the President, the captain of the ferry had been arrested and there was reason to believe the captain had not even been onboard at the time of accident, having left control of the vessel to an inexperienced crew member.
Further arrests have been ordered of those responsible for the incident.
It “is obvious more bodies are trapped in the capsized vessels,” the President said, noting that MV Nyerere was probably carrying far more than 25 tons of cargo for which the ferry was certified.
Around 100 people were rescued after the packed ferry MV Nyerere capsized Thursday afternoon. Initial estimates showed that the vessel was carrying over 300 passengers between Bugolora and Ukara Island.
Expert divers arrived on the scene from various parts of the country Friday morning, September 21, to speed up rescue operations.
The ferry sank just several metres from the dock close to Ukara Island, Ukerewe district. It capsized, trapping many passengers inside.
The reason for the disaster is still under investigation.