A Precision Air plane has crashed into Lake Victoria in Tanzania while attempting to land at an airport during bad weather, killing three people
According to the Airline and Kagera provincial Commissioner commissioner Albert Chalamila said a total of 43 passengers including 39 passengers, two pilots and two cabin crew were on the flight.
The airline said at least 26 people had been rescued so far adding that no death had been confirmed. Boats with emergency response personnel were deployed to the crash site at Africa’s largest lake near Bukoba airport. According to posted shared on their official Twitter account.
The flight had taken off from Tanzania’s commercial capital of Dar es Salaam but was “involved in an accident as it was approaching Bukoba airport and crash landed in Lake Victoria,” the carrier said.
Video circulating on social media taken by onlookers on the shores of Lake Victoria showed the aircraft submerged in the water with emergency responders coordinating rescue efforts from nearby boats.
“We’re trying to pull out the aircraft from the water. We’re trying to check if the wheels hit the ground under water or figure out some other way to push it out of the lake. At this time, there is still communication from the cockpit. The pilots are still in contact with us,” Chalamila said.
Speaking at the site earlier Sunday, Kagera provincial police commander William Mwampaghale said “everything is currently under control.”
“Rescue operations are underway, we have so far rescued several people and eventually we will make sure we have rescued everyone and removed the airplane out of the water,” he said. “Those who have been rescued have been taken to our referral hospital.”
Tanzania’s President took to social media to call for calm while rescuers worked at the site of a downed plane.
“I have received with sadness the information of the crash of the Precision Air flight at Lake Victoria, in the Kagera region,” President Samoa Suluhu wrote on Twitter Sunday.
“I send my condolences to all those affected by this incident. Let’s continue to be calm as the rescue operation continues and we pray to God to help us.”
Precision Air is a Tanzanian airline based in Dar es Salaam that was established in 1993. Precision Air has a 70-seat ART 72-500, three 48-seat ATR 42-500, and one 48-seat ATR 42-600.
Precision Air is 58% owned by Tanzanians, 41% by Kenya Airways, and 1% by other countries.