A Tanzanian ferry, MV Nyerere, has capsized on Lake Victoria killing over 100 persons. The ferry was said to have carried double its actual capacity. According to eye witnesses, the ferry sank when passengers rushed to one side to disembark as it approached the dock.
The inspector general of the Tanzanian police, Simon Sirro, said a special investigation into the accident would be conducted.
Meanwhile, the Tanzanian President John Magufuli in a speech broadcast on TBC a public television, decried the negligence that has cost so many lives and ordered the arrest of the management of the ferry. The president then declared four days of national mourning and said the government would cover the funeral expenses of the victims.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of Uganda and Kenya offered their condolences , while Pope Francis in a statement expressed “ the greatest solidarity with those who have been bereaved” by the disaster.
Similarly, President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with President John Magufuli and the people of Tanzania over the tragic MV Nyerere ferry disaster. In a statement through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari said the prayers and thoughts of all Nigerians were with the families and friends of the bereaved. He prayed that God Almighty comforts those who lost relatives and friends in the accident and grant eternal rest to the departed.
With a surface area of 70 , 000 square kilometres ( 27 , 000 square miles ), oval -shaped Lake Victoria is roughly the size of Ireland and is shared by Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.
Capsizes are not uncommon in the massive lake , and the number of fatalities is often high due to a shortage of life jackets and the fact that many people in the region cannot swim. The deadliest such accident in recent decades was in May 1996 , when around 800 people died after their ferry sank on the way to Mwanza in Tanzania.