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Tanzanian ferry sinks in Lake Victoria, rescue underway

A frantic rescue operation is underway in Tanzania where a passenger ferry capsized in Lake Victoria on Thursday.

Tanzania’s Electrical, Mechanical and Services Agency (TEMESA), which operates ferry services, said the boat, known as MV Nyerere, sank on Thursday afternoon in Ukurewe district Mwanza region.

TEMESA Spokeswoman Theresia Mwami said so far they had not established the exact number of passengers who were on board and whether anyone had died. The ferry capsized a few metres before docking, Mwami said.

Mwami said the ferry did not have any mechanical problems because TEMESA had carried out heavy maintenance on it in recent months including overhauling two engines.

In 2012, at least 145 people died in a ferry disaster in the semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean, on a vessel that was overcrowded.

REUTERS

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