Report: Rescue attempts were delayed after the Tanzanian jet disaster



According to an official report, divers were unable to start a rescue effort after a passenger airliner crashed in Tanzania’s Lake Victoria because they were out of oxygen.

After the jet crashed into the lake on November 6, at least 19 persons perished.

The emergency services’ readiness to handle the incident was cast in a harsh light by the assessment from Tanzania’s transport ministry.

If rescue attempts had begun sooner, it was suggested that more lives might have been rescued.

The police marine section, on the other hand, had just one rescue boat. Four hours after leaving, it arrived at the crash site with insufficient fuel, according to the investigation.

At least 19 people died after the plane plunged into the lake on 6 November.

The report from Tanzania’s transport ministry painted a damning picture of the emergency services’ preparedness to deal with the disaster.

More lives may have been saved if rescue efforts started sooner, it said.

Instead, the police marine unit had only one rescue boat. It arrived at the site of the crash four hours later and did not have enough fuel, the report said.


“The two pilots who were in the cockpit appear to have been unable to open the cockpit door and overhead escape hatch because of high water pressure.


“If there could have been immediate rescue operations, it is most likely that more people would have survived,” it added.


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.

Some of the surviving passengers said that the plane’s approach was normal until shortly before touchdown when the aircraft shook violently and nosed down while banking to the left, the report said.



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