[PHOTOS] At Least 126 People Confirmed Dead After Overloaded Boat Capsizes In Tanzania

Boat accident in Tanzania

At least 126 people died when a ferry capsized Thursday in Tanzania, a government official told CNN.

Transport Minister Isack Kamwele, who confirmed the number, said 40 survivors were rescued Friday and 40 others were saved Thursday in the accident, which took place on Lake Victoria.

Rescue teams are continuing to search for hundreds who were likely onboard the overcrowded ferry.

Poor visibility halted rescue operations on Thursday and rescue efforts continued on Friday.

Boat accident in Tanzania

“It’s been a bit difficult because of the fact that the ferry overturned with people and luggage,” Kamwele said. “We have to remove the luggage first to get to the bodies.”

Images from the scene showed rescuers in boats alongside the overturned ferry, picking up survivors in orange life rings. The rescuers were also retrieving dozens of bodies from the water.

Boat accident in Tanzania

The total number of passengers hasn’t been confirmed but the estimate is that there were 400 people on the overloaded boat, which had a capacity to only carry 100.

The ferry was traveling from Bugolora to Ukara island when it capsized 200 meters from its destination. Thursday is a market day on the island and many of the passengers were traveling to Gulio market there for that reason.

Ferries in Tanzania are often overcrowded, and the lack of an accurate passenger manifest is complicating rescue operations.

Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa, which straddles the borders of Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.

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