19 dead as plane crashes in lake Victoria

Nineteen people have died after a plane crash-landed into Lake Victoria in Tanzania. Officials have blamed poor weather for the accident. The 39 passengers and four crew members on the Precision Air flight were headed to lakeside Bukoba town from Dar es Salaam City when turbulence forced the pilot to re-route on November 6. The ATR-42 aircraft plunged off the coast near the Bukoba Airport runway. Speaking to reporters, survivor Richard Komba said they were told they would land soon shortly before bad weather rocked the plane, causing it to crash. The water submerged the front seats first while the cabin crew struggled to open the door. Rescue boats later arrived, with frantic passengers battling to board the vessels, he added. Footage shows emergency responders in canoes scrambling to rescue people from the submerged plane with only its tail visible above the water. Tanzania Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said: "We're starting to pull out the luggage and personal items from the aircraft. A team of doctors and security agencies have started the process of identifying the dead and notifying the families". In a statement, Precision Air said: "Precision Air extends its deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the passenger and crew involved in this tragic incident. The company will strive to provide them with information and whatever assistance they will require in their difficult time". "The names of passengers and crew on board the aircraft will not be released until all next-of-kin have been notified".