World|life|September 22, 2018 / 01:40 PM
Tanzania ferry tragedy: At least 136 dead after overcrowded boat sinks in Lake Victoria

AKIPRESS.COM - At least 136 people have died after an overloaded ferry sank as it prepared to dock on an island in Lake Victoria, say Tanzanian police, BBC reports.

The MV Nyerere capsized on Thursday afternoon around 50 metres from the dock at Ukara island.

Officials said the ferry's capacity was 101 people but more than 200 people had reportedly boarded the vessel at Bugolara, on Ukerewe Island, the largest island in the lake.

The craft was also carrying cargo, including sacks of maize, bananas and cement for market.

As well as overloading, it is thought passengers rushed to one side, unbalancing the ferry, as it prepared to dock.

Tanzania's top police official, Simon Sirro, said 136 bodies had been found as rescue teams, boosted by the addition of more personnel, searched for survivors on the morning after the disaster.

At least 40 people have been pulled alive from the water, said the government's chief secretary John Kijazi, but many more are missing and it is feared more than 200 people in total may have drowned.

Mr Kijazi said that those responsible will face charges.

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