Precision Air Flight PW494 in Tanzania’s Lake Victoria
More than 19 people are dead after a flight carrying at least 43 passengers made a crash landing on a lake in Tanzania.
Tanzania’s Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa has announced the new death toll, up from the 3 reported earlier by local officials.
“All Tanzanians join you in mourning these 19 people … who have lost their lives.” Mr. Majaliwa said in a statement.
They have said that 26 of the 43 people on board the flight have been rescued and taken to hospital.
The two pilots who had survived the plane crash and made their way out of the cockpit could now be dead as the number of those who are feared dead increases.
Flight WY489, which departed from the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, crash-landed into the lake as it was approaching the lakeside city of Bukoba, according to Precision Air.
The cause was not immediately clear, but the news said that the incident happened amidst storms and heavy rains.
The airline did not answer calls seeking further details and the discrepancy could not immediately be reconciled.
A witness said he saw the aircraft fly unsteadily as it approached the airport, saying it took a turn for the airport but missed and went into the lake.
Rescue boats have been deployed to search for those missing after an airplane plunged into the sea.
Tanzania’s largest privately owned airline, Precision Air, identified the aircraft as an ATR-42-500.
An airline spokesman said that it was “an internal investigation.
Tanzania’s President called for calm during the ongoing rescue operation but also asked people to pray for the dead. “My heart goes out to those who lost their lives in this unfortunate accident,” she said in a statement. “Let’s be calm at this moment when rescuers are continuing with the rescue mission while praying to God to help us.
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