By Mutayoba Arbogast,Bukoba
Nineteen people have lost their lives in a Precision Air accident with 43 people .The flight which had 39 passengers ,two crew and two hostesses was heading to Bukoba in Kagera region,Northwest Tanzania from the busy city of Dar es salaam. According to Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, the casualties included the pilot Captain Buruhani and the first Officer
Tanzania Fire and Rescue Force,Rescue and Firefighting Services ,Navy Command Police,Tanzania Peoples Defence Force,Fisher folks and individuals have been team working to save the lives .
Kagera Regional Medical Officer,Dr Isesanda Kaniki,informed the media that he received 26 (17 males,nine females)patients at the hospital, and three bodies(two males and a female)
It is said, however, it was an Emergency landing because of bad weather, of heavy rainfall and strong clouds, that the pilot had to opt for the emergency landing after preparedness attention to those on board, otherwise the number of the casualties would have been high.
Kagera Regional Police Commander,ACP William Mwampaghale said the accident occured at around 0825 hrs ,Sunday 06 October,when the aircraft was about 100 metres(328 feet) midair.
Kagera Regional Commissioner,Albert Chalamila said they have ordered heavy lifting equipment from Kagera Sugar Company and Geita GGM,to be able to lift out the aircraft from the lake,and that the Prime minister Kassim Majaliwa was also coming to monitor the rescue operation,thanking the President,Samia Suluhu Hassan for her words of encouragement for rescuers and wishing calmness to the affected persons.
Ananias Mutatina, resident of Itahwa village ,on the outskirts of Bukoba municipality,told this reporter that they witnessed the aeroplane zigzaging their village in an unsual condition that they were horrified it was going to crash down,but it eventually vanished out of their eyes.
Mutatina showered applauds to the aviation crew for the efforts and experience to save peoples lives.
For a longtime passengers and other stakeholders,have been complaining of uncomfortable situaton of Bukoba airport which is ‘nose and mouth’ pace to Lake Victoria, full of mosquito-like insects, which hampers someone from seeing clearly,while the runway is short with the lengh of 1500 m and wildth of 30 m.
Precision Air Press Release said the have established two Information centres, one in Dar es salaam and the other in Bukoba, and that the Investigative team consisting of Precision Air and technical staff, has departed to join the rescue team on the ground.
The tragedy may rekindle the process of construction of proposed Kajunguti International Airport in Missenyi district, intended to serve the African Great Lakes regions, which is set to begin after the completion of feasibility study.