Africa Middle EastLocal officials believe more than 300 were on board; final death toll could be more than 200.

Ferry capsized off Africa lake, killing 44

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MV Nyerere sank on Thursday afternoon with an unconfirmed number of passengers on board.
MV Nyerere sank on Thursday afternoon with an unconfirmed number of passengers on board. Photo Credit: Sloot/GettyImages

Regional governor John Mongella said on late Thursday that the death toll reached 44, with 37 others rescued, though some were in “a very bad condition”, AFP reported.

A ferry that capsized in Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, on Thursday (September 20) has killed at least 44, with many others missing, Tanzanian government officials said.

Regional governor John Mongella said on late Thursday that the death toll reached 44, with 37 others rescued, though some were in “a very bad condition”, AFP reported.

He added that rescue operations had been suspended, but would resume on Friday morning. 

The MV Nyerere ferry sank with an unknown number of passengers on board Thursday afternoon near Ukara Island, the southeast of Africa’s largest lake, in a statement by Tanzania’s Electrical, Mechanical and Services Agency.

There were reportedly more than a hundred passengers on board, and it is feared that a significant number have lost their lives, according to George Nyamaha, the head of Ukerewe district council of which the island is a part of.

But officials fear that the final death toll could be more than 200, as local officials believe there could be more than 300 on board.

It is not clear what caused the accident, but overloading is frequently to blame.

Nearly 144 people died or disappear six years ago when an overloaded ferry sank off the semi-autonomous Tanzanian island of Zanzibar.


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