Death toll 209 as survivor found in capsized Tanzania ferry

A number of bodies were pulled from Lake Victoria on Friday

A man has been found alive inside a Tanzanian ferry two days after it capsized, as the official death toll reached over 200.

A report by the British Broadcasting Corporation described his condition as serious. The death toll rose to 209 on Saturday, government spokesman Hassan Abbas told CNN, but it's expected to go up as more bodies are pulled out of the water.

Divers plucked the man, the ship's engineer, from inside the sunken MV Nyerere ferry in Lake Victoria after hearing sounds coming from inside the submerged vessel.

The boat was traveling from Bugolora to Ukara island when it capsized 200 meters from its destination.

Search teams spent the day pulling bodies from the MV Nyerere, which sank amid speculation it was overcrowded, as four days of mourning began for victims.

The state broadcaster, quoting Mr Kamwelwe said the rescue operation is still under way to recover more bodies.

The ferry had a capacity of 100 people and about 25 tons of cargo, but officials said the vessel was carrying more than 400 when it capsized Thursday.

The captain of the ferry that capsized in Tanzania, killing at least 151 people, has been arrested, President John Magufuli has said amid fears of a rising casualty figure.

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"This is a great disaster for our nation", President John Magufuli said in an address to the nation on TBC.

The deadliest such incident in recent decades was in May 1996, when about 800 people died after their ferry sank on the way to Mwanza in Tanzania.

And almost 200 people died in 2011 when the MV Spice Islander I sank off Tanzania's Indian Ocean coast near Zanzibar.

Another survivor, Jennifer Idhoze, blamed the ferry had capsized because it was overloaded.

"He called me and said he was in trouble", Musa told The Citizen.

The country's opposition accused the government of negligence saying it was "another failure of the authorities".

Tanzania's Electrical, Mechanical and Services Agency, which is responsible for ferry services, said it was unknown how many passengers were aboard the MV Nyerere. "We have repeatedly denounced this negligence", said John Mnyika, the deputy secretary general of Chadema, the main opposition party. Capsizes are not uncommon and the number of deaths is often high because of a shortage of lifejackets and the fact that many people in the region can not swim.

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