IIn northwestern Tanzania, a passenger plane with 43 people on board crashed into Lake Victoria on Sunday. Heavy rains and dense fog would have interfered with the plane’s landing. The accident involving a Precision Air plane happened about 100 meters from Bukoba city airport, a local police official said. The airport’s runway is not far from Africa’s largest lake.
Of the 43 people on board the plane, 39 were passengers, including two children, two pilots and two flight attendants, another official said. 26 people could be taken to a hospital by noon. The search was still on for 17 people. The plane was on its way from the economic metropolis of Dar es Salaam to Bukoba on Lake Victoria.
The official did not provide information on the condition of the rescued. “The rescue operation is ongoing and we are in contact with the pilots,” he said. According to the official, the aircraft is said to be a machine from the French-Italian company ATR.
Messages of condolences from the President
Precision Air, the east African country’s largest airline, confirmed the accident in a brief statement on Sunday morning. A rescue team was dispatched to the scene of the accident.
Local media showed video footage of the plane largely submerged. The emergency services tried to lift the machine out of the water using ropes and cranes.
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan expressed her condolences to those affected by the accident. “Let’s keep calm while the rescue work continues and pray to God to help us,” she wrote on Twitter.
Five years ago, eleven people died in Tanzania when a safari company plane crashed in the north of the country.