DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said on Sunday police have
arrested a number of people who were in relation to a ferry
disaster killing over 220 people in Lake Victoria.
have arrested a number of people for questioning following the
grisly marine accident as investigations continue," said
Majaliwa at the national burial of nine victims who were not
identified by relatives. About 216 victims have already been
identified by relatives and their bodies collected for burial.
The official made the remarks at Ukara Island where the nine
were buried that he will soon announce names of members of an
investigation team formed by the government.
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 p.m.
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 with more than 200 passengers and was being
manned by someone who was not the authorized captain of the
Isack Kamwelwe, the Minister for Works, Transport and
Communication, said 225 bodies were recovered from the fateful
ferry between Thursday and Sunday morning.
"We are still searching for more bodies before we halt the
recovery operation later today," said Kamwelwe, adding that the
recovery operation will be halted after the ferry was pulled out
of the waters from one of Africa’s great lakes.
A team of experts from the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF)
and the police force arrived at Ukara Islet, the scene of the
accident, on Saturday night to pull out the ferry using
state-of-the-art equipment from TPDF, said Kamwelwe.
One survivor was rescued on Saturday morning from the ferry
that capsized in Lake Victoria on Thursday afternoon.
Kamwelwe identified the survivor as Alphonce Charahani, a
ferry engineer who was among the passengers, saying he was in
critical condition and doctors are fighting to save his life.
The last major ferry accident on Lake Victoria occurred in
1996 in the same region, killing at least 500 people.
Death Toll from ill-fated Tanzanian Ferry Accident
rising to 218