UPDATE 4 - 19 people dead after plane crashes into Lake Victoria, Tanzania

Par Kizito Makoye | AA
Dar Es Salam - 07-Nov-2022 - 03h40   1690                      
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Precision Air flight with 45 people on board crashes just before landing at Bukoba Airport; 26 rescued, search operation ongoing

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (AA) - At least 19 people including a flight attendant died after a passenger plane plunged into Lake Victoria in Tanzania on Sunday morning.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa confirmed the death toll shortly after arriving at the crash scene.

Authorities said at least 26 people have been rescued.

Albert Chalamila, a regional commissioner, said the rescue team has succeeded in pulling the plane wreckage from shallow water.

There were 45 people on board the Precision Air plane, said Chalamila.

In its initial statement, Precision Air said flight number PW494 heading from the commercial hub Dar es Salaam to Bukoba “was involved in an accident as it was approaching Bukoba Airport.”

It was an ATR 42-500 aircraft, the airline said in a separate statement, adding that an investigation team with Precision Air technical staff was headed to the site.

The plane crashed into Lake Victoria around 10.50 a.m. local time (0750GMT).

Bukoba Airport is located on the lake’s shore, and the crash site is just a few hundred meters from the runway, according to local officials.

Videos circulating on social media show the plane’s submerged yellow and green fuselage surrounded by rescue boats.

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, who is currently on a visit to China, called for “calm as rescue operations continue."

"I have received with profound shock the news of the accident involving a passenger plane belonging to Precision Air in Lake Victoria. I send my most sincere sympathy to the victims," she said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry released a statement expressing “deep sorrow” over the deaths.

“We have learned with deep sorrow that 19 people lost their lives in the United Republic of Tanzania in a plane crash on a flight from Dar es-Salaam to Bukoba,” the statement said.

“We share the sorrow of the friendly Tanzanian state and people, extend our condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” it added.

 

By Kizito Makoye





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