Many Feared Dead as Ferry With 500 Passengers Capsizes on L. Victoria

An eaglet flies above Lake Victoria next

At least 42 have people died after a ferry sank in Tanzania's Lake Victoria, with government officials fearing the final death toll could be more than 200, a senior local official said.

'According to reports that President John Magufuli has just received from the authorities in Mwanza, the toll now stands at more than 40 dead, ' Gerson Msigwa, the president's spokesman, said on state television.

He couldn't say how many people were on the ferry until the search-and-rescue operation was over.

The ferry which plies Bugorora to Ukara island route in Mwanza Province is said to have sunk with over 100 people aboard.

The ferry was also carrying cargo including sacks of maize and cement when it capsized, close to the dock. The cause of the incident was not immediately clear, but overloading is frequently found to blame.

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

The MV Nyerere ferry overturned near the shore between the islands of Ukora and Bugolora.

The accident was also confirmed by Tanzania Electrical, Mechanical and Electronic Services Agency (TEMESA) regional manager Hassan Karonda. However, the exact number of passengers who were in the vessel at the time of the accident was not established.

"The casualties are not known".

He can not say how many people were on board until the search and rescue operation is over.

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