Death toll rises after plane crash in Lake Victoria in Tanzania

© Sitide Protase, AFP

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

"All Tanzanians are with you in mourning the 19 people who lost lives during this accident," Majaliwa told a crowd after arriving at Bukoba airport, where the flight had been scheduled to land from financial capital Dar es Salaam.

Flight PW 494 was carrying 39 passengers, including an infant, as well as four crew members, according to the airline. It initially said 26 of the 43 people on board were rescued but later said 24 survivors were reported by emergency services at the scene.

Precision Air, a publicly listed company which is Tanzania's largest private airline, said it had dispatched rescuers to the scene.

"An investigation team consisting of Precision Air technical staff and TAA (Tanzania Airports Authority) has also departed to join the rescue team on the ground," the airline said in a statement.

It said the aircraft was an ATR 42-500, manufactured by Toulouse-based Franco-Italian firm ATR.

Video footage broadcast on local media showed the plane largely submerged as rescuers, including fishermen, waded through water to bring people to safety.

Emergency workers attempted to lift the aircraft out of the water using ropes, assisted by cranes as residents also sought to help.

(FRANCE24 with AFP and Reuters)

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