Tanzania plane crash: Rescue efforts delayed, report finds


Divers were unable to launch a rescue operation after a passenger plane crashed in Tanzania’s Lake Victoria as they lacked oxygen in their cylinders, an official report has found. At least 19 people died after the plane plunged into the lake on 6 November. The report from Tanzania’s ministry of transport 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.(BBC)…[+]