A Tanzanian plane crashed into Lake Victoria after a botched landing at an airport during bad weather, according to an Al Jazeera report.
According to a report from the state-owned Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation, the Precision Air plane had been carrying 43 people on the aircraft.
BBC reports that at least 19 people have died in the crash while 26 people have been admitted to a nearby hospital.
“We have managed to save quite a number of people,” Kagera province police commander William Mwampaghale told reporters at the scene.
The plane had taken off from Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital in the morning and then “fell into Lake Victoria” in Bukoba because of a storm and heavy rains.
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Mwampaghale told reporters that the plane had been roughly “100 metres midair” when it encountered problems and bad weather. The plane plunged into the lake while it was raining. “Everything is under control,” the Kagera police commander told Al Jazeera.
Faraji Saidi, a journalist, told Al Jazeera that rescue efforts by emergency services were ongoing. News reports that have emerged from the crash site show the plane mostly submerged. The plane had crashed just 100 metres from the airport, according to Saidi, adding that Precision Air had been working in Tanzania for a very long time and it had not had crashes.
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Bukoba airport sits on the coast of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake. Rescue boats have been deployed and emergency workers are continuing with efforts to get stranded passengers out of the plane.
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan has called for calm as rescue operations continue.
“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,” she tweeted.
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Precision Air was incorporated in 1991 as a private airline before starting operations in 1993. The airline currently flies to 14 destinations including other African nations like Kenya, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Comoros, South Africa, Uganda.