At least 100 people have died as a result of a ferry sinking in Lake Victoria, Tanzania.

Many more are missing and it is feared that the death toll could rise above 200.

The MV Nyerere ferry upturned near the shore between the Ukora and Bugolora islands.

It is estimated that the incident was caused due to overloading when the passengers shifted to one side just a few meters away from the dock in Ukora.

According to Reuters, the person who distributed tickets for the trip also died. The precise number of deaths has yet to be confirmed as the machine that kept the data was also lost in the incident.

“We pray to God to give us hope that there has not been a high death toll.”

A Tanzania official said that the vessel was loaded with more than 400 passengers, with nearly 100 rescued and 32 are in a serious condition.

Tanzania Mara regional commissioner Adam Malima was quoted by BBC as saying: “We pray to God to give us hope in such an accident.

“We pray to God to give us hope that there has not been a high death toll.”

Rescue efforts are going on to search for the missing people.

Over the years, Tanzania saw several maritime disasters involving overcrowding of vessels.

In 2012, around 145 people died when a crowded ferry sank on its way to the Zanzibar island in the Indian Ocean.

In 2011, an incident off the coast of Zanzibar caused the deaths of around 200 people.