April 28, 2006

Ferry capsizes on Lake Victoria, some dead

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Tanzanian police said on Friday that a
ferry had sunk in its waters on Lake Victoria, with an unknown
number of passengers killed.

"People have drowned, but I have no more information,"
Tanzanian police spokesman Juma Mtumwa said by telephone from
Dar es Salaam.

A Tanzanian newspaper, Mwananchi, said 28 people, including
eight crew members, were killed. But that could not be
immediately confirmed. The paper named the boat as MV Nyamanga.

But police in Mwanza town on the shores of Lake Victoria
said the ferry was called MV Nyamageni and operates under the
company Dynamic Cotton Ginnery.

It was not immediately clear which day the accident took

As on other African waterways, disasters are common on Lake
Victoria, the continent's largest lake, because of
overcrowding, and poor safety and communication equipment.

Prior to the latest incident, nearly 100 people had lost
their lives so far this year on Lake Victoria, according to
local media. The lake borders Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.

In Lake Victoria's worst shipping disaster, more than 800
people drowned in May 1996 when a ferry from the Tanzanian port
of Bukoba capsized on its way to Mwanza.

-- Reporting by George Obulutsa and Helen Nyambura-Mwaura