A plane carrying 43 people made a crash landing into Lake Victoria on Sunday while attempting to reach a nearby airport in Tanzania.
At least 19 people were killed when the plane, operated by Precision Air, crash-landed on approach to the lakeside city of Bukoba, according to Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa. The airline had said earlier that 26 people had been rescued from the plane.
Flight PW 494, which departed from the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, “crash-landed” into the lake as it was approaching the lakeside city of Bukoba.
The cause was not immediately clear, but the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) said the incident took place amid storms and heavy rains.
Video and pictures circulating on social media showed the plane almost fully submerged, with only its green- and brown-coloured tail visible above the water line of Africa’s largest lake.
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan called for calm as the rescue operation continued.
“I have received with sadness the news of the accident involving Precision Air’s plane,” she tweeted. “Let’s be calm at this moment when rescuers are continuing with the rescue mission while praying for God to help us.”