19 killed in Tanzania boat accident

Fishermen pictured in Lake Tanganyika. (File Photo)
Fishermen pictured in Lake Tanganyika.

At least 19 people died after a boat capsized in Tanzania’s Lake Tanganyika, officials said.

Principal Officer for the Surface and Marine Transport and Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA) in Kigoma region, Amaniel Sekulu, confirmed the accident, saying rescue operations were still going on.

The accident involved two boats, one carrying 65 passengers while the other had 137 people on board.

Most of the passengers in the second boat were worshippers who were heading on a church mission for the Christmas period.

“Many of the passengers on board MV Pasaka were worshippers from the Pentecostal Church of God who were heading to join neighboring church congregations for Christmas celebrations,” Sekulu said.

He also confirmed that local marine authorities and residents were assisting in rescue operations, as some people still remain unaccounted for.

Lake Tanganyika is the second oldest freshwater lake in the world.