Small Tanzania passenger plane crashes in Lake Victoria, killing 19 people

Rescue boats surround a plane which crashed in Lake Victoria, Tanzania.
Flight PW494 was carrying 43 people onboard. Credit: AP

A small passenger plane has crashed in Lake Victoria while on approach to a Tanzanian airport killing 19 people.

Tanzania's Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa, confirmed the death toll had grown by three, on Sunday morning.

Earlier, local authorities said 26 of the 43 people on the Precision Air flight - a Tanzanian airline - were rescued and taken to a hospital.

Flight PW494 had taken off from the coastal city of Dar es Salaam before crashing at 8.53am local time. It was not clear if any of those who were rescued died at the hospital.

Photos showed the plane, which was headed to Bukoba Airport, mostly submerged in the lake.

“We have managed to save quite a number of people,” Kagera province police commander William Mwampaghale told reporters.

He said: “When the aircraft was about 100 meters [328 feet] midair, it encountered problems and bad weather. It was raining and the plane plunged into the water."

Mr Mwampaghale added that rescue efforts were ongoing.

Samia Suluhu Hassan, Tanzania's President, has expressed her condolences.

In a tweet she said: "Let's continue to be calm while the rescue operation continues while we ask Allah to help us."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...