Grieving Tanzanians on Monday paid emotional tribute to 19 people who died when a passenger plane crashed into Lake Victoria in the deadliest plane crash in the country in decades.
The Precision Air flight from the financial capital Dar es Salaam crashed Sunday morning while attempting to land in the northwestern city of Bukoba.
Bad weather was the cause of the accident.
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa was among hundreds of people gathered at the Kaitaba Stadium in Bukoba, as Muslim and Christian clerics led prayers for the dead while onlookers wiped their tears.
The ceremony to hand over the victims’ bodies to their families is expected to last for hours, with local broadcasters broadcasting live broadcasts from the stadium.
Twenty-four survivors were rescued from the 43 people on board Flight PW 494, while investigators from Precision Air and the Tanzania Airports Authority arrived in the lakeside town on Sunday.
Precision Air, a publicly traded company and Tanzania’s largest private airline, said the plane was an ATR 42-500 manufactured by the Toulouse-based Franco-Italian company ATR and carried 39 passengers – including a baby – and four crew members. board. plate.
AFP journalists saw the plane largely submerged on Sunday as rescuers, including fishermen, waded through the water to get people to safety.
Rescuers tried to lift the plane out of the water using ropes, assisted by cranes, while residents also tried to help.
President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Monday expressed her condolences to the families of the victims and called on aid workers and volunteers for their swift action to save lives.
“Congratulations to those who participated in the rescue, including the people of Bukoba,” she said on Twitter.
“I pray for the departed souls to rest in peace and for the wounded to recover quickly.”
Part-owned by Kenya Airways, Precision Air was founded in 1993 and operates domestic and regional flights and private charters to popular tourist destinations such as Serengeti National Park and the Zanzibar Archipelago.
The accident comes five years after 11 people were killed when a plane belonging to safari company Coastal Aviation crashed in northern Tanzania.
In 1999, a dozen people, including 10 American tourists, died in a plane crash in northern Tanzania while flying between Serengeti National Park and Kilimanjaro airport.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)
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