Pope Francis offers condolences after plane crash in Tanzania
By Vatican news staff reporter
In the wake of the plane crash on Sunday in Tanzania, Pope Francis is praying for victims and survivors, and has assured all those affected by the tragedy of his spiritual closeness.
A telegram, addressed to the Apostolic Nunciature in Tanzania and signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, says that the Holy Father is praying “in particular for the eternal repose of the deceased, the healing of the injured, and strength for those involved in the rescue and recovery efforts.”
Full text of the telegram of the Holy Father, signed by the Cardinal Secretary of State, for the victims of the plane crash on 6 November at Bukoba, Tanzania:
Plane crashed in bad weather
A small passenger plane crashed Sunday morning into Lake Victoria on approach to Bukoba airport in Tanzania. At least nineteen people were killed in the tragedy, while twenty-six others were saved by rescuers.
“We have managed to save quite a number of people,” Kagera province police commander William Mwampaghale told journalists. “When the aircraft was about 100 meters (328 feet) midair, it encountered problems and bad weather. It was raining and the plane plunged into the water,” he said.
Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said investigators had launched a probe into what had happened.
A spokesperson for France's BEA air accident investigation agency said on Monday it was sending a team to Tanzania along with technical advisers from Franco-Italian planemaker ATR , which built the ATR 42-500 turboprop.
Under international rules, the locally-led investigation would usually include the participation of authorities in France, where the plane was designed, and Canada, where its Pratt & Whitney engines were developed.
ATR said it was "fully engaged to support the customer and the investigation."