Sunday, a commercial flight operated by Precision Air crashed into Lake Victoria in Tanzania. The death toll from the incident is still being finalized, as at least 19 people have died so far.
“We believe all bodies have been recovered,” Kassim Majaliwa, Prime Minister of Tanzania, said.
Earlier this morning, the airline reported that 26 of the 43 people on board were rescued. There’s a rescue operation in progress at a large scale, and many people are volunteering to help the authorities.
Moreover, out of the 19 casualties, two of the men are identified as volunteers of the rescue operation. But nobody knows who these individuals were and where they came from. The Prime Minister has said that a proper investigation will take place in this case.
“We’ve started the process of extracting luggage and personal items from the aircraft,” Majaliwa said. “A team of doctors and security agencies has begun the procedure of identifying the deceased and notifying families.”
A video taken by bystanders on the shores of Lake Victoria shows the aircraft submerged in the water with rescue baskets for emergency dispatches.
“We’re trying to retrieve the plane from the water. We’re attempting to see if our wheels hit the ground underwater or figure out some other way to push it from the lake,” said Chalamila, the provincial commissioner of Kagera. He added, “at this time, there is still communication from the cockpit. The pilots are still in contact with us.”
Chalamila further told the reporters that the situation is under control, and the authorities are trying to combat the situation with the utmost abilities.
“We’ve rescued several people so far and are working to make sure that every passenger is rescued, and the airplane is removed from the water,” Albert Chalamila said. He added, “once those passengers have been rescued, they were taken to our referral hospital.”
President Samia Suluhu Hassan tweeted sadness over the crash of a Precision Air flight on Sunday. He also conveyed to the people to keep their calm and cooperate with the authorities.
It’s uncertain why the plane crashed, but it was most likely a result of adverse weather. The rain has stopped, which allows rescuers to reach the crash site and help anyone who might still be trapped inside.
The fishermen saw the crash first and managed to get into the plane, rescuing people after an attendant opened the back door.
Officials have been using ropes to drag the plane closer to shore, and the body of the plane is now above water.
However, when the plane hit the water’s surface, the strong impact damaged the plane severely and submerged it completely in the water. The first responder said that only the fin of the plane was visible at first, and the rest of the plane was underwater.
The officials are assuring the families of all the people stuck inside the water and requesting people to pray to God for help and the safety of all the victims.