Urgency Lacking in Tanzania Plane Rescue

Divers were unable to launch a rescue operation after a passenger plane crashed in Tanzania’s Lake Victoria as they lacked oxygen in their cylinders, an official report has found. At least 19 people died after the plane plunged into the lake on 6 November. The report from Tanzania’s ministry of transport painted a damning picture of the emergency services’ preparedness to deal with the disaster. The report echoed earlier public criticism of rescue operations, but failed to disclose the cause of the crash, saying that an investigation was still under way. However, there was bad weather – including thunderstorms and strong winds – before the privately-owned Precision Air flight crashed into the lake. Fishermen were first at the site, and spearheaded rescue efforts. Of the 43 people on board, 24 survived. The two pilots were among the dead. The plane left the commercial capital Dar es Salaam and made a scheduled stop at Mwanza before it crashed at around 05:50 GMT as it was approaching the airport in the lakeside town of Bukoba. The government has rewarded fisherman Majaliwa Jackson for his rescue efforts. It has declared him a hero, awarded $430, and offered him job in the fire and rescue brigade. Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan has pledged to strengthen the country’s disaster response services after her cabinet discussed the crash last week.

SOURCE:BBC

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