Lake Victoria, Tanzania: Hundreds feared missing as ferry capsizes

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    Volunteers work at the scene of a capsizing in TanzaniaImage copyright Stephen Msengi
    Image caption Volunteers have been helping rescue efforts

    Hundreds of people are feared missing after a ferry capsized on Lake Victoria in north Tanzania.

    A local official told the BBC five people have died and 102 have been rescued, but another said that the vessel was overloaded with more than 400 people on board.

    The MV Nyerere ferry overturned near the shore between the islands of Ukora and Bugolora.

    Locals have joined with emergency teams in rescue efforts.

    The Tanzanian government has confirmed the ferry capsized but exact figures for those on board are yet to be confirmed.

    “We pray to God to give us hope in such an accident,” Regional Commissioner Adam Malima told reporters.

    “We pray to God to give us hope that there has not been a high death toll.”

    Accidents are common on Africa’s largest lake, Victoria, where boats often depart overcrowded.

    More than 800 people died in 1996 when the MV Bukoba capsized. It was one of the worst maritime disasters of the last century.

    Image copyright Stephen Msengi
    Image caption Scores of people have so far been reported rescued
    Image copyright Stephen Msengi
    Image caption The boat was reportedly overcrowded
    Image copyright Stephen Msengi
    Image caption Large crowds watched rescue efforts from the shore
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