At least one hundred people are known to have died after a ferry carrying hundreds of people capsized on Lake Victoria, Tanzania. Many more are missing and it is feared that more than two hundred people may have drowned. Rescue efforts resumed today after being halted overnight.
The MV Nyerere ferry overturned near Ukara island on its way from Bugorora. It is thought the overloaded vessel tipped over when crowds on board moved to one side as it docked. Local media say the ferry’s official capacity was one hundred people but officials say the vessel was carrying more than four hundred passengers when it capsized.
So far, thirty-seven people have been rescued and are in critical condition, according to Mwanza Regional Commissioner John Mongella. Tanzania has seen a number of nautical disasters, with overcrowding often playing a role.
In 2012, at least one hundred and forty-five people died when a packed ferry sank while transporting people to the island of Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean. In 1996, more than eight hundred people died when the MV Bukoba capsized on Lake Victoria. It was one of the worst ferry disasters of the last century.