Over 40 killed as MV Nyerere capsizes in Lake Victoria

An eaglet flies above Lake Victoria next

"According to reports that President John Magufuli has just received from the authorities in Mwanza, the toll now stands at more than 40 dead", Gerson Msigwa, the president's spokesman, said on state television.

At least 42 have people died after a ferry sank in Tanzania's Lake Victoria, with government officials fearing the final death toll could be more than 200, a senior local official said.

John Mongella, the commissioner of Mwanza, said 37 people were rescued but those efforts were suspended until daybreak Friday.

No casualty numbers have been given but a local media had reported that five people died and 102 rescued.

Tanzania's Electrical, Mechanical and Services Agency (TEMESA), which operates ferry services, said the boat, known as MV Nyerere, sank on Thursday afternoon in Ukurewe district Mwanza region.

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Another official told the BBC the boat was overloaded, and may have had more than 400 people on board.

Exact figures, though, are yet to be confirmed - Reuters said the person who dispensed tickets for the journey also died, with the machine recording the data lost.

The ferry was also carrying cargo when it capsized close to the dock.

Mwami said the ferry did not have any mechanical problems because TEMESA had carried out heavy maintenance on it in recent months including overhauling two engines.

MV Nyerere capsizes in Lake Victoria on September 20, 2018.

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