Mass burials for Lake Victoria ferry victims with bodies still to be identified after Tanzania disaster

Burials have started of the 224 people who died when a ferry capsized on Lake Victoria, Tanzania’s State broadcaster has said.

The bodies of 172 people who died in the boat tragedy have been identified, Tanzania’s Minister of Works, Transport and Communication Isack Kamwelwe said.

The bodies of 37 others have not been identified, he told the broadcaster.

Relatives carry coffins to be used for the victims of the MV Nyerere passenger ferry disaster. Credit: AP

Tanzania’s prime minister Kassim Majaliwa led mourners at the funeral service.

On Saturday rescuers found a survivor two days after the tragedy.

The man was identified as an engineer of the ferry who had locked himself in the engine room.

Residents and relatives of the victims of the MV Nyerere passenger ferry wait on the shore Credit: AP

Video footage showed the man, barefoot and head lolling, being carried quickly along a busy street by medical workers and military personnel as a siren wailed.

His condition was not immediately known.

No further survivors were likely to be found and search efforts had ended, defence minister Venance Mabeyo told reporters at the scene.

Relatives carry coffins Credit: Andrew Kasuku/AP

He said officials would continue working to identify the dead.

However, the total number of deaths may never be known as no one is sure how many people were on the overcrowded ferry, which officials said had a capacity of 101.

The boat tipped over as people returning from a busy market day with their goods prepared to disembark, while horrified fishermen and others watched.

At least 40 people were rescued, officials said.

President John Magufuli has ordered the arrests of those responsible.

Residents and relatives of the victims Credit: AP

He said the ferry captain already had been detained after leaving the steering to someone who was not properly trained, The Citizen newspaper reported.

“This is a great disaster for our nation,” Mr Magufuli told the nation in a televised address, announcing four days of national mourning