By Kizito Makoye
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (AA) – Tanzania has launched an investigation into Sunday’s crash of a passenger plane that plunged into Lake Victoria, killing 19 people, the nation’s prime minister said on Monday.
The final report of the probe, which includes experts from multiple institutions, will be made public when the investigation ends, Kassim Majaliwa said during a ceremony to pay last respect to those who perished.
“After this accident, the steps that have been taken include coordination of rescue operations in collaboration with the people who rescued our brothers and sisters, and rushed them to hospital for treatment, overseeing and providing first aid to those injured, finalizing formalities to identify the bodies and share information with the public, and gathering experts for the preliminary investigation on the cause of the accident,” Majaliwa said.
The crash of the plane with 43 people aboard is Tanzania’s first deadly aviation accident in decades.
Meanwhile the Tanzanian government paid 1,000,000 Tanzanian shillings ($434) to each family that lost their relatives, as well as financing funeral services for those killed in the crash.
Earlier Albert Chalamila, Kagera’s regional commissioner, clarified that the number of people rescued from the crash scene is 24, not 26 as reported earlier.
He said that two rescuers, who were injured during rescue efforts, were mistaken as passengers.
Meanwhile people from all walks of life have unleashed strong criticism against the government’s sluggish response which allegedly led to the death of 19 people.
“Yesterday Tanzanians suffered the trauma of watching 19 people drown in a fuselage in Lake Victoria. Our government failed us. It failed to deploy a search and rescue mission. Sat back with folded arms while fishermen used rope to pull the fuselage out of the lake,” tweeted Fatma Karume, a lawyer and staunch critic of the government.