Tanzania is mourning the death of about 224 people, who died last week in one of Africa’s deadliest ferry accidents.
The MV Nyerere was travelling between the Lake Victorian islands of Ukerewe and Bugolora. It is said that the ferry had been carrying at least two times more the capacity of the vessel. Aside from the over 200 people on board, it also carried a cargo of maize, bananas, and cement.
The vessel went down a short distance from the Ukerewe dock. Rescue efforts started immediately, with natives of the island rescuing about 40 people from the toppled vessel. The Tanzanian Navy joined private citizens and companies to conduct the rescue.
According to reports, Tanzania Electrical, Mechanical and Electronics Services Agency (Temesa), the ferry services operator, said MV Nyerere did not have any mechanical problems as it had undergone heavy maintenance in the recent months, which included the overhaul of two engines.
Disaster Management minister Jinesta Mhagama has announced that the 219 victims have been identified and 214 have been collected by the family.
“The government has taken DNA samples of unidentified bodies to enable identification once their relatives resurface,” he said.
Following the incident, President John Magufuli ordered the arrest of the operator and the East African community has pledged to boost safety on Lake Victoria.
MV Nyerere enters history as one of Africa’s deadliest ferry accidents.
Scroll through for other deadly ferry accidents on the continent.