Air accidents: Tanzanian plane crashes in Lake Victoria

Air accidents: Tanzanian plane crashes in Lake Victoria
Air accidents: Tanzanian plane crashes in Lake Victoria

Air accidents: Tanzanian plane crashes in Lake Victoria

Air accidents: Tanzanian plane crashes in Lake Victoria

image shared, Charles Mwebeya TBC

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The tail of the plane can be seen in the water, surrounded by boats and rescue workers

A Tanzanian airliner crashed into Lake Victoria while attempting to land in the northwestern Bukoba region, killing at least 19 people.

An official said the Precision Air plane was carrying 43 people. The two pilots survived the accident but were still trapped in the cockpit speaking to local officials.

Local rescue workers and fishermen are on hand to rescue those stranded on board.

Abdel Nouri was waiting at the airport for a flight back to Dar es Salaam when he saw the plane sink in the water.

“We were really shocked,” he told the BBC. “People panicked, some started crying and screaming.”

“At the arrival gate, people were also panicking and most were waiting to welcome their loved ones,” he added.

Abdel Nouri spoke to the fishermen, who were the first to arrive at the scene. They told him they were able to board the plane to rescue people after a flight attendant opened the back door while the plane was in the water.

The accident reportedly happened due to inclement weather, but the rain stopped, allowing rescue efforts to continue.

Rescuers used ropes to tow the aircraft, an ETR-42, close to shore with part of the fuselage now above the water.

The plane was almost completely submerged, with only the tail visible immediately after the crash.

One end of Bukoba Airport’s runway is adjacent to the shore of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake.

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It is unclear how many people are still trapped on the plane

Albert Chalamela, a senior regional official, said three bodies had been recovered so far after the plane crash due to bad weather.

Tanzanian President Samia Solhou Hassan sent her condolences to those affected and called for calm while the rescue operation continued.

The plane was en route from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city, via Mwanza to Bukoba.

Precision Air is Tanzania’s largest private airline and is partly owned by Kenya Airways. It was founded in 1993 and operates domestic and regional flights.


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