At least 42 people drowned after the ferry sank in Lake Victoria, but government officials fear the final death toll could be more than 200, a senior official claimed.
Ukerewe district commissioner Colonel Lucas Magembe told Reuters the rescue mission to find survivors from Thursday’s disaster had been halted until dawn on Friday (local time).
He said 42 people were confirmed dead so far.
“According to reports that President John Magufuli has just received from the authorities in Mwanza, the toll now stands at more than 40 dead,” Gerson Msigwa, the president’s spokesman said on state television.
Regional governor John Mongella said late Thursday 37 survivors had been rescued, though some were in “a very bad condition”.
Initial estimates showed that the MV Nyerere was carrying more than 300 people on board.
The cause of the accident was not immediately clear, but overloading is frequently to blame.