19 dead in Tanzania plane crash

19 dead in Tanzania plane crash

The death toll from Sunday's plane crash in Tanzania has risen to 19, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said, after the Precision Air flight with dozens of passengers plunged into Lake Victoria while approaching the northwestern city of Bukoba.

After arriving at Bukoba airport where the flight had been scheduled to land, Majaliwa told a crowd that the flight was scheduled to land from the financial capital Dar es Salaam.

Regional authorities said 26 survivors out of the 43 people on board the PW 494 flight had been pulled to safety and taken to a hospital.

However, Precision Air, a publicly-listed company that is Tanzania's largest private carrier, said that 24 people had survived the crash, with an airline official saying that the other two patients were not aboard the plane to begin with.

Air France said it had sent rescuers and investigators to the scene and expressed its 'deepest sympathies' over the incident.

The aircraft was an ATR 42-500, a French aircraft manufacturer, and had 39 passengers, including an infant, and four crew members on board.

The video footage released on local media showed rescuers, including fishermen, waded through the water to bring people to safety.

The crew of the aircraft struggled to lift it out of the water using ropes, aiding in cranes as residents also sought to help.

The disaster is among the deadliest plane crashes in the East African nation's history.

The chair of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, also shared his condolences, as did the secretary-general of the East African Community bloc, Peter Mathuki.

Faki, 58, wrote on Twitter.

Mathuki, who is also on Twitter, said: 'It is a matter of time that we will not be able to have an interview with Donald Trump,' he said.

Precision Air, a part of Kenya Airways, was established in 1993 and operates domestic and regional flights as well as private charters to popular tourist destinations like Serengeti National Park and the Zanzibar archipelago.

The crash happened five years ago when a plane belonging to the safari company Coastal Aviation crashed in northern Tanzania.

In March 2019, an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi plunged six minutes into a field southeast of the Ethiopian capital, killing all 157 people on board.

The disaster, which took place months after a similar crash in Indonesia, triggered the worldwide grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX jet model for 20 months before it returned to service in late 2020.

In 2007 the Kenya Airways flight from the city of Abidjan to Nairobi, Kenya's capital, crashed into a swamp after take-off, killing all 114 passengers.

In 2000, Kenya Airways flight from Abidjan to Nairobi crashed into the Atlantic Ocean just after take-off, killing 169 people, while 10 survived.

The crash happened a year ago in a plane crash that killed a dozen people, including 10 American tourists, flying between Serengeti National Park and the Kilimanjaro airport.