By Jackson and Njehia
UKARA, Tanzania (Reuters) – Divers were on Saturday searching for survivors in the sunken wreck of an overcrowded ferry that capsized on Lake Victoria, Tanzania, as an official said the death toll from Thursday’s disaster had risen to 161.
Four navy divers went inside the MV Nyerere early on Saturday after hearing sounds that suggested signs of life.
Their initial search failed to locate survivors, while bodies continued to float to the surface around the vessel.
State broadcaster TBC said the number of dead stood at 161, citing John Mongella, commissioner for the Mwanza region where the disaster occurred.
The ferry sank on Thursday evening just a few meters from the dock on Ukerewe, the lake’s biggest island. Initial estimates suggested there were more than 300 people on board.
On Friday President John Magufuli ordered the arrest of those responsible for the sinking.
(Additional reporting by Nuzulack Dausen; Writing by Elias Biryabarema; editing by John Stonestreet)