Death toll in Tanzania’s ferry tragedy rises to 166

Death toll in Tanzania ferry tragedy climbs to 166. [Courtesy]
Divers rescued a man on Saturday as they searched for survivors from the wreck of an overcrowded Tanzanian ferry that capsized on Lake Victoria on Thursday, killing at least 166 people.

Four navy divers resumed the search operation inside the sunken MV Nyerere early on Saturday after hearing sounds that suggested signs of life.

They pulled a man out of the overturned ship soon after and he was rushed to hospital, a Reuters witness said, while bodies continued to float to the surface around the vessel.

His condition was not immediately known.

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Works, Transport and Communication Minister Isack Kamwelwe said the number of bodies retrieved had risen to 166, adding that the government was sending sophisticated equipment to aid the rescue.

“This equipment will increase efficiency in the rescue operation and we will continue with the search until we are satisfied that we have rescued everyone,” he told Reuters.

Relatives of the deceased had started to identify bodies of their loved ones, he said.

Search and rescue operation continue. [Courtesy]
The ferry sank on Thursday evening just a few meters from the dock on Ukerewe, the lake’s biggest island. Initial estimates suggested there were more than 300 people on board.

On Friday President John Magufuli ordered the arrest of those responsible for the sinking.

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