19 killed in Uganda boat accident

Kampala, March 22: A boat accident on Lake Albert in western Uganda Saturday left 19 people dead and 32 others missing, police said.

Most of the passengers on the boat carrying over 96 people were Congolese refugees from Kyangwali refugee settlement, Xinhua quoted deputy police spokesperson Patrick Onyango as saying.

“Nineteen bodies have been recovered and 45 people were rescued, but 32 people are still missing,” he said.

He added the cause of the accident was overloading, noting that the captain of the boat has been arrested.

State-owned New Vision daily said the refugees were en route to Democratic Republic of Congo from Kyangwali and Bugoma in Hoima district when they encountered mechanical difficulty in Kitenile.

According to Onyango, the police marine unit and fire brigade are still at the accident scene carrying out a search and rescue mission. “The chances of survival of those missing are very slim,” he said.

Boat accidents due to overloading are common on Ugandan lakes.

IANS