The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network

Five still missing as Truck plunges into Swollen river in Serengeti

A team of 21 men were riding on an open pick-up truck inside the Serengeti National Park at night, when fate struck.

As their vehicle tried to cross a swollen river it was swept into the water. The 21 passengers aboard, mostly workers, were also submerged, fortunately majority of them were later rescued.

However, five people could not be found and are reportedly still missing as of now.

The Police in Mara Region have confirmed the incident which occurred at the Warangi River crossing in the Eastern Corridor of the Serengeti National Park, in the late Friday night of February 25, 2022.

“Rescue operations are going on and so far the divers have managed to fish out 16 people from the river,” explained the Mara Regional Police Commander, Longinus Tibishubwamu, adding that the rescued travelers were safe and sound.

The search team is currently searching for the remaining five passengers, who are said to be still in the river.

The Toyota Land-Cruiser pickup truck, commissioned to the Serengeti National Park, was travelling from the adjacent ‘Fort Ikoma,’ township in the Serengeti District, Mara Region, heading to Seronera post, the headquarters of the National Park.

More details regarding what exactly transpired during the truck’s night ride, will be shared as soon as additional information from Serengeti becomes available.

Ongoing rains, drenching most parts of the country, are causing many rivers to swell and roads impassable. Those not paved, like the tracks inside parks can also become slippery and can get quite dangerous during the night.

Recently, the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA), issued a warning that the downpours could continue all the way up to the late May, or beyond.

Usually the months of January, Fenruary and first week of March feature dry weather in Northern Tanzania, with the Monsoons starting in the second week of March, however climate change has altered local weather season measurements.

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