19 Dead After Plane Crashes into Lake Victoria in Tanzania amid Adverse Weather Conditions

19 Dead After Plane Crashes into Lake Victoria in Tanzania amid Adverse Weather Conditions

Nineteen people have died after a plane crashed into Lake Victoria during adverse weather conditions, according to multiple reports.

The plane crashed Sunday near the lake's shore as it attempted to land at the Bukoba Airport, BBC News and CNN reported.

Kagera province police commander William Mwampaghale said the aircraft was an estimated 100 meters (328 feet) in the air when "it encountered problems and bad weather" and "plunged into the water," according to the Associated Press.

Precision Air said 24 of the 43 passengers on Sunday's commercial flight survived the deadly crash, per the outlets.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa confirmed the death toll on Monday, the AP reported.

RELATED: U.S. Coast Guard Saves 3 Men 'Clinging' to Hull of Capsized Boat Off South Carolina Coast

At a funeral service for crash victims on Monday, Transport Minister Makame Mbarawa said the plane ran into "a sudden change of weather conditions" just before 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, according to CNN.

The plane encountered heavy rains, strong winds and downdrafts while attempting to land at the airport, Mbarawa explained.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) describes downdrafts as "a small-scale column of air that rapidly sinks toward the ground," according to its website.

Rescuers search for survivors after a Precision Air flight that was carrying 43 people plunged into Lake Victoria as it attempted to land in the lakeside town of Bukoba, Tanzania on November 6, 2022. - Three people died when a plane carrying dozens of passengers plunged into Lake Victoria in Tanzania on November 6, 2022, as it approached the northwestern city of Bukoba, the fire and rescue service said. Rescuers have pulled 26 survivors to safety after the Precision Air plane crashed due to bad weather, with 43 people, including 39 passengers, aboard flight PW 494 from the financial capital Dar es Salaam to the lakeside city, according to regional authorities.
Rescuers search for survivors after a Precision Air flight that was carrying 43 people plunged into Lake Victoria as it attempted to land in the lakeside town of Bukoba, Tanzania on November 6, 2022. - Three people died when a plane carrying dozens of passengers plunged into Lake Victoria in Tanzania on November 6, 2022, as it approached the northwestern city of Bukoba, the fire and rescue service said. Rescuers have pulled 26 survivors to safety after the Precision Air plane crashed due to bad weather, with 43 people, including 39 passengers, aboard flight PW 494 from the financial capital Dar es Salaam to the lakeside city, according to regional authorities.

SITIDE PROTASE/AFP via Getty

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday.

Abdul Nuri told BBC News that he and others witnessed the accident first-hand while waiting for his flight. "We were really shocked," Nuri explained. "People panicked and some started crying and shouting."

Richard Komba, who was on the plane, told the outlet that there was "heavy turbulence" shortly before the crash.

"Water then entered the plane and those sitting near the front were covered by it," Komba revealed. "I was in the back seat and most of us in the back of the plane struggled to get out."

RELATED: Car Found Submerged in a Houston Bayou with 2 Bodies Inside Had Been There for Hours, Cops Say

Officials are working to identify the victims and notify their families, Majaliwa said, per CNN. Two pilots are believed to be among the dead, he added.

"Yesterday is a tragic accident that we believe will never happen again," he said at Monday's funeral, per the report.

The airport was closed until further notice, according to BBC News.