Tanzania authorities have revealed that the aircraft crash involving Tanzania’s Precision Air flight was not a real accident.
Speaking while giving the status report, an official indicated that the alleged accident where a passenger plane plunged into Lake Victoria was a training session for emergency response and rescue officers.
She said the session is aimed at curbing air disasters in the future and gauging the country’s preparedness to deal with aircraft accidents as they often require acute levels of public and professional expertise and scrutiny.
“The accident was not an actual accident but a training session for rescue operation officers. The training is done for the future, should a fatal accident occur,” she said.
Earlier reports indicated that the Precision Air flight had plunged into Lake Victoria on Sunday, November 6, while landing at Bukoba Airport in Tanzania.
The aircraft went down into the lake during stormy weather.
News reports showed photos of the plane mostly submerged in the lake with only its green and brown-coloured tail visible above the water line.
According to authorities, a rescue operation was launched and emergency services were availed at the scene immediately.
The plane had a total of 25 people onboard including two aircraft crew, and 23 passengers. The crash killed one person, leaving 24 survivors, a number of whom were injured.
“We have received information of a plane that plunged into Lake Victoria in the morning hours. The plane had 25 people on board including 23 passengers and two pilots. Of the 25, 21 survived and one died. Of the injured passengers, 15 had minor injuries while 5 were severely injured,” an officer said, before revealing that it was not an accident. That it was a drill.
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan called for calm during the rescue operation.
“Nimepokea kwa masikitiko taarifa ya ajali ya ndege ya Shirika la Precision katika Ziwa Victoria, mkoani Kagera. Natuma salamu za pole kwa wote walioathirika na ajali hii. Tuendelee kuwa watulivu wakati huu zoezi la uokoaji likiendelea huku tukimuomba Mwenyezi Mungu atusaidie,” Samia tweeted.
Loosely translated as; “(I have received with sadness the news of the accident involving Precision Air’s plane,” she tweeted. “Let’s be calm at this moment when rescuers are continuing with the rescue mission while praying to God to help us.)”
Precision Air is Tanzania’s largest privately-owned airline.
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