DAR ES SALAAM, Nov 6 (Reuters) – A passenger plane crashed into Lake Victoria in Tanzania on Sunday as it tried to land at an airport in the lakeside city of Bukoba amid stormy weather, the state broadcaster reported. .
Fifteen people have been rescued so far, but it is not known how many passengers were on board the Precision Air flight or if there were any deaths, the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) reported.
The plane, which had departed from Dar es Salaam, “fell into Lake Victoria this morning due to storms and heavy rain,” TBC reported.
Images and videos circulating on social media showed the plane almost completely submerged, with only its green and brown tail visible above the waterline of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake.
Rescue boats were deployed and emergency workers were still rescuing other passengers trapped on the plane, TBC added.
Precision Air, Tanzania’s largest private airline, identified the plane as Flight PW 494 and said it “had an accident on approach to Bukoba airport.” The airline’s statement did not provide further details.
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan called for calm as the rescue operation continued.
“I have been saddened by the news of the Precision Air plane crash,” he tweeted. “Let’s stay calm at this time as rescuers continue the rescue mission while praying to God to help us.” (Reporting by Nuzulack Dausen; Writing by Elias Biryabarema; Editing in Spanish by Ricardo Figueroa)