22 September 2018

Nigeria: Buhari Consoles Tanzania Over Ferry Disaster

Photo: The Citizen
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa at the accident scene.

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday commiserated with President John Magufuli and the people of Tanzania over the tragic MV Nyerere ferry disaster in the south of Lake Victoria which claimed over 100 lives.

Consoling the Tanzanian President, President Buhari assured him and people of Tanzania of the sympathy of all Nigerians as they mourn their loved ones.

Buhari in a statement through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the prayers and thoughts of all Nigerians were with the families and friends of the bereaved even as rescue efforts by emergency services continued yesterday.

He prayed that God Almighty comforts those who lost relatives and friends in the accident and grant eternal rest to the departed.

At least 136 people died after a ferry carrying hundreds of people capsized on Lake Victoria, Tanzania, on Thursday, officials said. Many are missing and it is feared that more than 200 people may have drowned. Rescue efforts resumed yesterday after being halted overnight.

The MV Nyerere ferry overturned near Ukara island on its way from Bugorora.

It is thought the overloaded vessel tipped over when crowds on board moved to one side as it docked. Rescue operations on Africa's biggest lake have involved police and army divers, as well as small private boats and local fishermen.

Local media said the ferry's official capacity was 100 people, but officials said the vessel was carrying more than 400 passengers when it capsized. It operated on a busy route, crossing eight times a day between the islands of Ukara and Ukwerewe, which are close to Tanzania's second-largest city of Mwanza. The ferry was said to have been particularly busy because it was market day in Bugorora, on Ukerewe island.

With Additional Reports From BBC

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