On the 6th of November, a Precision Air ATR 42 crashed into Lake Victoria in Tanzania while attempting to land in stormy weather at Bukoba Airport. The aircraft was reportedly on final approach to runway 31 at the time of the accident.
The ATR 42-500 with registration 5H-PWF was operating flight PW494 from Dar es Salaam to Bukoba in Tanzania with 39 passengers and 4 crew members on board. According to the airline, 19 fatalities and 24 survivors have now been reported by the emergency services.
“We have managed to save quite a number of people. When the aircraft was about 100 meters (328 feet) in midair, it encountered problems and bad weather. It was raining and the plane plunged into the water. Everything is under control,” said Kagera province police commander William Mwampaghale.
Footage shared on social media shows the plane almost fully submerged, with only its tail visible above the water line of Africa’s largest lake.
Rescue boats have been deployed and emergency workers are continuing to rescue other passengers trapped in the aircraft.
“I have received with sadness the news of the accident involving Precision Air’s plane. Let’s be calm at this moment when rescuers are continuing with the rescue mission while praying to God to help us.”Tanzanian President, Samia Suluhu Hassan
The weather at the time of the accident was reported to have been poor. The latest available Metar weather report was from 03:00 UTC, about 2.5-3 hours before the incident. At that time winds were from 270 degrees at 4 knots with scattered clouds at 1200 feet, a few Cumulonimbus clouds at 1400 feet and broken clouds at 8000 feet.
Update 13:00 UTC
Local police reported that the aircraft crashed into Lake Victoria about 100 meters from the airport due to bad weather. Both pilots survived the crash but remained trapped inside the cockpit.
In a press conference, the local authorities reported they had recovered 3 dead bodies from the aircraft, so far 26 people have been recovered alive, and the search for the missing 14 people is still underway.
Update 23:45 UTC
Precision Air has confirmed that there were 19 fatalities and 24 survivors.
During the recovery of the crashed Precision Air ATR 42-500 from Lake Victoria, the fuselage broke ahead of the wings. The aircraft reportedly overshot the runway at Bukoba coming to a stop in the lake, killing both pilots and 17 other passengers.
Feature Image via Twitter