Friday, September 21, 2018

Tanzania President Orders Arrest Of Ferry Operator

Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Friday ordered the arrest of the management of a ferry that capsized in Lake Victoria, as the death toll climbed to 131 and rescue workers pressed on with the search to find scores more people feared drowned.

The MV Nyerere may have been carrying as many as 200 passengers -- double the ferry's capacity -- when it capsized close to the pier on Ukara Island on Thursday, according to reports on state media.

Witnesses reached by AFP said the ferry sank when passengers rushed to one side to disembark as it approached the dock.


Magufuli referred to "negligence" and said he had ordered the arrest of "all those involved in the management of the ferry", during a speech on TBC One public television.

"It appears clear that the ferry was overloaded," he said, adding that "the arrests have already begun".

The president also declared four days of national mourning while saying at least 131 people had died, updating an earlier death toll of 126.

Mwanza governor John Mongella had earlier said the number of survivors was 40, but it was unclear whether any new survivors had been found since rescue operations resumed with police and army divers on Friday morning.

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