Ferry disaster on Lake Victoria leaves dozens dead

At least 86 people have died after a ferry carrying hundreds of people capsized on Lake Victoria, Tanzania.

Officials say the number who drowned could be more than 200. Recovery efforts have resumed after being put on hold overnight.

The MV Nyerere ferry overturned near the shore between the islands of Ukora and Bugolora.

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

Local media say the ferry's official capacity was 100 people. Officials have confirmed that the vessel was carrying more than 400 passengers when it capsized.

About 100 people were rescued while 37 are said to be in a critical condition.

Mwanza Regional Commissioner John Mongella said that 42 more deaths had been confirmed on Friday, after 44 on Thursday.

Exact figures, though, are yet to be confirmed - Reuters said the person who dispensed tickets for the journey also died, with the machine recording the data lost.

- Tragic history -

Tanzania has seen a number of nautical disasters, with overcrowding often playing a role.

In 2012, at least 145 people died when a packed ferry sank while transporting people to the island of Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean.

The year before, almost 200 people died in another major incident off the coast of Zanzibar. Hundreds survived, some found clinging to mattresses and fridges.

In 1996, more than 800 people died when the MV Bukoba capsized on Lake Victoria. It was one of the the worst ferry disasters of the last century.



BBC

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