Tanzanian plane crashes into Africa's largest lake, killing at least 19

A Precision Air flight crashed into Lake Victoria in Tanzania, killing 19.
A Precision Air flight crashed into Lake Victoria in Tanzania, killing 19. SITIDE PROTASE/AFP via Getty Images

At least 19 people died Sunday in Tanzania after a passenger jet crashed into Lake Victoria, the largest body of water in Africa, The Associated Press reported.

Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said the flight, which was chartered by Tanzanian carrier Precision Air, had been carrying 43 people when it crashed. In a statement, Precision Air said 26 of these people were initially taken to a hospital for treatment.

The flight, which originated in Tanzania's largest city, Dar es Salaam, was attempting to land at the lakeside Bukoba Airport. However, the plane ran into problems upon approach and ended up plummeting into the lake, with police commander William Mwampaghale telling AP, "When the aircraft was about 100 meters [328 feet] midair, it encountered problems and bad weather. It was raining and the plane plunged into the water."

BBC News reported that the two pilots were initially rescued from the cockpit, but Majaliwa said the pair may have since died. The outlet said rescue operations still remained underway, and that the death toll in the accident may continue to rise.

While bad weather was blamed as the culprit for the crash, Majaliwa said a complete investigation would occur.

Tanzanian President Samia Hassan expressed her condolences on social media, tweeting in a translated post, "I have received with regret the information of the plane crash of Precision Corporation in Lake Victoria ... Let's continue to be calm while the rescue operation continues while we ask Allah to help us."

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