Rescue operations are underway after a plane carrying 39 passengers, including an infant, crashed into Africa’s largest lake in Tanzania on Sunday, the airline said in a statement.
At least 19 people were killed, the country’s Prime Minister Kasim Majaliwa said.
Of the 39 passengers on board the Precision Air flight, 26 were rescued and taken to hospital, a statement said. Report. “We are yet to confirm the death toll from the crash site,” it said, adding that all four crew members were on board.
“We managed to save a lot of people,” Kagera provincial police commander William Mwambakele told reporters.
“When the aircraft was about 100 meters (328 feet) mid-air, it encountered problems and bad weather. As it was raining, the plane got submerged in water,” he said. “Everything is under control.”
Footage verified by NBC News showed the plane completely submerged in the lake with rescue boats around its green and yellow tail.
Tanzanian Precision Air said in a Report Facebook said its flight, PW494, was flying from the commercial hub of Dar es Salaam on the country’s east coast and “crashed on approach to Bukoba Airport”. The airline said the aircraft was an ATR42-500 – a twin-jet turboprop manufactured by Italian-French firm ATR.
Bukoba is on the western edge of Lake Victoria, bordering Uganda and Kenya.
A rescue team has been dispatched to the spot, said Precision Air.
“It is with sadness that I received the news of the crash of Precision Air’s flight,” Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu wrote. Twitter. “Let us remain calm at this moment as the rescuers continue the rescue work and at the same time we pray to God to help us.”
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