Mwanza. The number of people who died in the Lake Victoria MV Nyerere ferry tragedy has reached 225 but the number will likely go up as the search for more bodies and/or survivors continues.
The ferry, traveling between the Ukara and Bugolora Islets, capsized on Thursday afternoon about 50 metres from the berth as it was about to dock.
Until late Saturday, a total of 218 bodies had been recovered but latest data, produced by the Mwanza Regional Commissioner, Mr John Mongella, show that until 8:00 AM on Sunday, September 23, 2018, seven more bodies had been recovered.
He said until Saturday, September 22, a total of 171 bodies had been identified by relatives, ready for burial.
“Those who come and identify their relatives are given the freedom to pick and bury their bodies in the manner that they deem fit…The government gives Sh500,000 in condolence to each body that’s been identified and picked by relatives,” said Mr Mongella who doubles as chairman of the defense and security committee for Mwanza Region.
Ukerewe District Commissioner Cornel Maghembe told The Citizen on Thursday that the water vessel was overloaded with cargo and passengers.
According to him, the ferry’s capacity was to carry only 100 passengers and 25 tonnes of cargo but it had more than 400 people.