By Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala
Nineteen people died after a passenger plane crashed into Africa’s largest lake on approach to an airport in northwestern Tanzania, Radio One cited Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa as saying.
The ATR turboprop aircraft was carrying 39 passengers from Tanzania’s commercial hub of Dar es Salaam to Bukoba. Earlier on Sunday, state-run broadcaster TBC had reported that 26 people had been “rescued” and work was ongoing.
Precision Air flight plunges into Lake Victoria when landing at Bukoba Airport in Tanzania, authorities say rescue operations underway
Images shared by East African media showed the aircraft seemingly intact after plunging into Lake Victoria, which borders Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.
Authorities are in touch with pilots still inside the plane and discussing the possibility of towing it to land, regional commissioner Albert Chalamila said earlier in a televised press briefing.
A joint venture between Airbus SE and Italy’s Leonardo SpA, Toulouse-based ATR builds turboprops with as many as 78 seats, according to its website.
Those rescued have been taken to the hospital for medical care, Precision Air said. An investigation team including the carrier’s technical staff and the Tanzania Airports Authority have traveled to the scene, it said.
–With assistance from Patrick Sykes.