The Prime Minister and airline have confirmed that at least 19 people died when a passenger plane crashed into Lake Victoria in Tanzania on Sunday while trying to land at a nearby airport.
It was gathered that Flight PW494, operated by Precision Air, hit the water during storms and heavy rain.
According to local authorities, rescuers in boats rushed to the wreckage, which was almost fully submerged, to pull out trapped passengers.
“All Tanzanians join you in mourning these 19 people … who have lost their lives,” Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa stated.
He added that investigators are still looking into what happened.
The plane left the commercial capital Dar es Salaam and “crash-landed” at 8:53 a.m. (0553 GMT) as it was approaching Bukoba airport, Precision Air – Tanzania’s largest privately owned airline – said in a statement.
The airline further stated:
“Precision Air extends its deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the passenger(s) and crew involved in this tragic accident. The company will strive to provide them with information and whatever assistance they will require in this difficult time.”
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan also said:
“I have received with sadness the news of the accident involving Precision Air’s plane. Let’s be calm at this moment when rescuers are continuing with the rescue mission while praying to God to help us.”