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Lake Victoria Tanzania ferry disaster: Divers hunt for survivors

September 21, 2018 5:14 pm

At least 136 people have died after a ferry carrying hundreds of people capsized on Lake Victoria, Tanzania, officials say.

Many are missing and it is feared that more than 200 people in total may have drowned. Rescue efforts resumed on Friday after being halted overnight.

The MV Nyerere ferry overturned near Ukara island on its way from Bugorora.

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It is thought the overloaded vessel tipped over when crowds on board moved to one side as it docked.

Rescue operations on Africa’s biggest lake have involved police and army divers, as well as small private boats and local fishermen.

The BBC’s Aboubakar Famau in Tanzania says fear has gripped residents of the Mwanza region as they wait to hear the fate of relatives who travelled on the MV Nyerere on Thursday.

“I received a call telling me that I have lost my aunt, father and my younger brother,” says Editha Josephat Magesa, a local resident.

“We are really saddened and urge the government to provide a new ferry because the old one was small and the population is big.”

Our reporter says the ferry’s engines were recently replaced after local MP Joseph Mkundi complained about the previous ones.

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