At least 19 passengers were killed when a passenger plane from Tanzania crashed into Lake Victoria while trying to land in the lakeside town of Bukoba.
Operator Precision Air reports that 24 of the 43 passengers were still alive.
The two pilots initially made it out alive and were able to communicate with local authorities from the cockpit, but the prime minister believes they may have passed away by now.
At the end of the runway at the Bukoba airport, the plane fell close to the water.
Some of the people who were still inside the jet may be rescued by rescuers wading into the water.
Abdul Nuri witnessed the plane crash into Africa’s largest lake while he was at the airport waiting for the return trip to Tanzania’s main city, Dar es Salaam.
“We were very surprised. People began to fear, and some of them began to cry and shout,” he told the BBC.
People worried at the arrivals gate as well; the majority of them were there to greet their relatives.
The initial responders who were fishers, he has spoken with them. They claimed that after the jet crashed, a flight attendant unlocked the rear door, allowing them to enter the wreckage and rescue passengers.
The catastrophe, which happened at 05:50 GMT/8:50 local, has the weather to thank for it.
Some of the ATR-42’s body is now above the water as emergency personnel used ropes to pull the plane even nearer to the beach.
The aircraft was almost entirely immersed in water following the crash, with only the brown and green tail fin still visible. The weather had gotten worse just as the plane was ready to touch down, causing the pilot to change course, according to Richard Komba, a crash survivor, who spoke to the BBC.