Following unexpectedly bad weather during a flight from the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam, a passenger aeroplane crash-landed into Lake Victoria on Sunday, killing 19 of its occupants. According to reports, the plane, a Precision Air aircraft, was travelling from Dar es Salaam to the Bukoba Airport in the northwest of the country.
Speaking about Sunday’s crash, Precision Air CEO Patrick Mwanri said that the plane had departed Dar es Salaam at approximately 6 a.m. local time and was expected to reach its destination at 8.30 a.m. However, nearly half an hour past its arrival time, the plane had still not landed. The Minister of Transport, Makame Mbarawa, stated that although the weather conditions at 8 a.m. were good, there was a sudden change shortly after, causing heavy rains and strong winds to develop as the aeroplane descended.
Prime Minister Majaliwa has affirmed that there will be a thorough investigation, and though what caused the crash has not yet been confirmed, it is believed to have been initiated by the terrible weather conditions.
After plunging into Lake Victoria, which lies in close proximity to the Bukoba Airport runway, the plane was nearly fully submerged. Emergency responders had to use ropes to pull it closer to the shore before utilizing boats to transport survivors to safety. At the time of the crash, the aircraft had 43 people on board: 39 passengers, including an infant, and four crew members. Though the plane’s two pilots survived the initial crash, both were trapped in the aircraft’s cockpit with a dwindling supply of air and eventually died before rescue workers were able to reach them.
View photographs from the scene of the crash below: