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Lake Victoria, African lifeline regularly hit by sinkings

Friday September 21 2018

MV Nyerere

An image grab taken from a video provided by Tanzania’s StarTV channel reportedly shows people searching for victims after the ferry MV Nyerere capsized in Lake Victoria, Tanzanian, on September 21, 2018. PHOTO | STARTV | AFP 

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Following the deaths of at least 126 people after a ferry capsized on Lake Victoria here are some of the deadliest ferry accidents over the past decade.

The MV Princess of the Stars sinks off the Philippines' Sibuyan island on June 21, 2008 during a typhoon: 805 people drown and only 57 passengers survive.


Also in the Philippines, 120 people are listed as dead or missing when the St. Thomas Aquinas ferry, carrying 830 people, sinks on August 16-17, 2013 after it collides with a cargo ship near Cebu.

The Sewol ferry, carrying mostly high school students, capsizes on April 16, 2014 as it heads to a holiday island in South Korea. Of the 304 people who die, most are students.

Human error is blamed and the crew is accused of abandoning ship as hundreds of passengers are trapped. The captain is sentenced in November 2014 to 36 years in prison.

At least 235 people are killed on January 11, 2009 when the Teratai Prima ferry goes down during a storm between the Indonesian islands of Sulawesi and Borneo.

The real toll could be higher due to the presence on board of unregistered passengers. Thirty-five survive.


A total of 203 are killed or go missing when an overcrowded ferry breaks in two and sinks on April 30, 2012 in the Brahmaputra river during a storm in the northeastern Assam state.

About 203 people die on September 10, 2011 when the Spicy Islander ferry sinks between two Zanzibar islands. More than 600 people are rescued.

On July 18, 2012 a total of 145 are killed or go missing when a ferry sinks off Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous Tanzanian island.

At least 200 civilians drown on January 14, 2014 in a ferry accident on the White Nile river as people flee heavy fighting between government forces and rebels in Malakal, a northern oil city in South Sudan.

When the double-decker Shariatpur 1 ferry is hit on March 13, 2012 by an oil barge in the middle of Bangladesh's Meghna river, 123 people drown. The accident happened 40 kilometres (25 miles) southeast of the capital, Dhaka.

On February 2, 2012 around 120 are left dead and missing when the MV Rabaul Queen ferry sinks in bad weather off the eastern coast of Papua New Guinea.