19 dead after commercial aircraft crashes into Lake Victoria in Tanzania near Idete
Two people were killed and eight were injured when a commercial plane crashed Wednesday off the coast of Tanzania, the country’s health ministry said.
The plane was heading from Kampala, Uganda’s capital, to Dar es Salaam, northern Tanzania for a seven-day safari that included several boat trips, a spokesman for the park said.
The plane plunged into the water shortly after taking off from the Kampala-Dar es Salaam runway. Officials say four bodies have been recovered but the cause of the crash is not immediately known.
A source close to the national park where the plane crashed said the plane appeared to have deviated from its intended route, skimming the treetops before plowing into the water near the coast.
In a statement, Tanzania’s health ministry said two people had been killed and eight injured after the plane crashed Wednesday near Idete, a few kilometers (miles) from the southern border with Kenya.
Mumia Abu-Ishak, spokesman for the national park, said the plane crashed into the water 10 minutes after departing Kampala and had been flying on an altitude of between 2000 and 2500 meters (6,200 feet).
Kenya’s health ministry confirmed one of its nationals died while five of its citizens were injured. The Kenyan and Tanzanian governments said that the injured people were from Uganda and Kenya but provided no further details.
Kampala’s airport manager, John Nyakata, told Reuters by telephone that the plane had not stopped after departing from Kampala, which has a population of seven million.
He said the plane was on its way to Nairobi, Kenya’s capital and largest city, when it crashed about 90 kilometers (55 miles) from the city.
“It was going very low over the lake,” Nyakata said.
The airport said the plane had gone out of radio contact for about 30 minutes after leaving Kampala, but witnesses said they saw the plane taxiing along the runway and stopping when it came to a standstill.
“It started to roll when it hit the water. The pilot tried to land it, but it did not,” Nyakata said.