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42 drown in Lake Victoria ferry sinking, more than 200 feared dead

发布时间:2018-09-21  来源:CGTN  字体大小[ ]

 At least 42 people drowned when a ferry sank on Thursday in Tanzania's Lake Victoria. Government officials fear the final death toll could be over 200, according to a senior local official.

Ukerewe District Commissioner Colonel Lucas Magembe said that the rescue mission to find survivors of the disaster had been halted until dawn on Friday with 42 people confirmed dead.

Initial estimates showed that the MV Nyerere was carrying more than 300 people on board. It went down just a few meters from the dock in the Ukerewe district, according to national ferry services operator TEMESA.

However, it was hard to establish the precise number of passengers on board since the person dispensing tickets also drowned and the machine recording the data lost.

The cause of the accident was not immediately clear, but overloading is frequently found to blame.

TEMESA spokeswoman Theresia Mwami said the operator had carried out maintenance on the ferry in recent months, overhauling two engines.

In 1996, a ferry disaster on Lake Victoria in the same region killed at least 500 people.

In 2012, at least 145 people died in a ferry disaster in Tanzania's semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean, on a vessel that was overcrowded.

中国公共网摘编GAN JADE

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