DEATH TOLL OF TANZANIA’S FERRY ACCIDENT RISES TO 209

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania- Tanzanian authorities said, the death toll in the ferry that capsized in Lake Victoria on Thursday, rose to 209, as more bodies were expected to be pulled off from one of Africa's great lakes.

Isack Kamwelwe, the Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, said, more bodies could be recovered as rescue and recovery operations continued. "Relatives have started identifying bodies of their loved ones," Kamwelwe told a news conference at Ukara Islet, the scene of the grisly marine accident.

He said, a ship carrying equipment to be used in pulling the ferry out of the lake was on its way from Mwanza. "We are expecting the vessel anytime and work to pull out the ferry will start right away," said the minister.

Earlier in the day, Kamwelwe, said, one survivor was rescued on Saturday. He identified the survivor as Alphonce Charahani, a ferry engineer, who was among the passengers. "The survivor is in critical condition and doctors are fighting to save his life," Kamwelwe told Xinhua on the phone.

On Friday, Tanzanian President, Magufuli, announced a four-day mourning period for the victims of the ferry accident. According to sources, the ferry, with a capacity of 101 passengers and 25 tonnes of cargo, capsized at around 1.00 pm local time, Thursday.

Magufuli also ordered the arrest of safety inspectors, from the country's transport regulator, the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority.

Preliminary investigations showed that the state-owned ferry was overloaded and was being manned by someone who was not the authorised captain of the vessel.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK