Death toll rises in Tanzania ferry accident

The death toll from the sinking of an overcrowded ferry in Tanzania has climbed higher, officials said.

Tanzania Red Cross volunteers respond after MV Nyerere, a passenger ferry, capsized in Lake Victria on Thursday. Photo by Tanzania Red Cross/EPA-EFE
Tanzania Red Cross volunteers respond after MV Nyerere, a passenger ferry, capsized in Lake Victria on Thursday. Photo by Tanzania Red Cross/EPA-EFE

The NM Nyerere was said to be carrying 265 people, more than two and-a-half times its capacity, when it capsized in Lake Victoria Thursday.

The ferry was preparing to dock when it tipped over about 650 feet from its destination at Ukara Island.

The number of people who died in the accident now stands at 224, and the toll could go even higher.

RELATED Tanzania ferry: Captain arrested, over 200 now dead
Tanzanian president John Magufuli said the captain left a person steering the wheel who lacked the proper training.

Five of the victims have been identified using DNA, and burial ceremonies have already occurred for some.

The ferry was built in 2004 in Tanzania and had been repaired in 2013, 2015 and 2018, including replacing the two engines and gear box.

RELATED Death toll rises after ferry sinks on Tanzania lake
Several world leaders sent condolences following the accident, including President Vladimir Putin of Russia, President Xi Jinping of China and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In 2011, about 200 people died when a ferry carrying more than 1,000 passengers overturned in strong winds near Zanzibar.

ByNicholas Sakelaris