Tanzania ferry disaster death toll reaches 224

Tanzania ferry disaster death toll reaches 224

Dodoma (Agencies): Tanzania declared the whole nation was in mourning Sunday as the first dozen bodies were buried from a devastating ferry capsize on Lake Victoria that left people 224 dead.


Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa led “national funerals” on the island of Ukara, where the MV Nyerere had been coming in to dock on Thursday.

He spoke of “great mourning by the whole nation” as the first coffins were placed in individual graves, many of the victims unidentified.

The remainder of the dead were to be lain to rest later or taken away by families wishing for privates funerals.

The prime minister said a memorial would be built on Ukara.

Hopes had faded of finding any more survivors three days after the disaster, even after rescuers pulled out an engineer on Saturday who had holed up in an air pocket in the upturned vessel.

But Majaliwa said divers would continue the grim search in the waters around the boat. The ferry would also be refloated.

He updated the death toll to 126 women, 71 men, 17 girls and 10 boys. Just 41 people survived.

Transport Minister Isack Kamwelwe said 265 people had been on board the ferry, which had an official capacity of 100 or 101 passengers.

The prime minister said initial investigations suggested overloading was one of the causes of the accident.

“We have already arrested all those people in charge of operating and supervising the MV Nyerere.