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19 killed as Tanzanian plane crashes in Lake Victoria: 24 survive

Survivors said there was heavy turbulence due to extreme bad weather. The pilot tried to reroute the flight at the last moment but failed, and the plane plunged into the lake, close to the runway. Twenty four people survived.

DAR-ES-SALAAM, Nov 7: Nineteen people were killed and 24 survived when a Tanzanian passenger plane crashed into Lake Victoria on Sunday morning in heavy turbulence due to bad weather. There was heavy rain and strong winds at the time of the crash. The pilot tried to reroute the flight at the last moment but failed, survivors said.

The plane had taken off from Tanzania’s commercial capital of Dar-es-Salaam for Bukoba at 6 am local time and plunged in the lake while landing. It was scheduled to land at 8.30 am at a runway next to the lake.

The commercial flight was operated by Precision Air. The airline said in a statement that there were 43 people, including four crew members, on board and 24 have been rescued.

“Precision Air extends its deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the passenger and crew involved in this tragic incident. The company will strive to provide them with information and whatever assistance they will require in their difficult time,” the airline said.

“The names of passengers and crew on board the aircraft will not be released until all next-of-kin have been notified,” it added.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said all bodies have been recovered. “We’re starting to pull out the luggage and personal items from the aircraft. A team of doctors and security agencies have started the process of identifying the dead and notifying the families,” Majaliwa said.

Videos on social media show the plane submerged in the lake, Africa’s largest freshwater lake.

Precision Air CEO Patrick Mwanri, who was visibly quite shaken while talking to reporters, said in a televised statement, “... at 8.53 am our Operations Control Center got a report that that aircraft had not arrived.”

The aircraft is being pulled ashore with a rope.

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