Death toll in Lake Albert boat accident rises to 20

Residents of Kitaura Village in Buliisa town council gather at the scene of the boat accident at Lake Albert in Buliisa District on December 22, 2020. PHOTO /ANDREW MUGATI

What you need to know:

  • Survivors said the boat carrying more than 50 passengers en route to Panyimur weekly market in Pakwach District capsized after a strong wind hit it.
  • Several people are not yet accounted for.

Fishermen at Songa-Lendu landing site in Kitahura village Buliisa town council Buliisa District have retrieved more bodies from Lake Albert as death toll from Tuesday’s boat accident rose to 20.

Survivors said the boat carrying more than 50 passengers en route to Panyimur weekly market in Pakwach District capsized after a strong wind hit it.

Mr Julius Hakiza, the Albertine police spokesman confirmed Thursday afternoon that death toll had reached 20 after more bodies were retrieved from the lake by fishermen.

"At least 21 people survived because they were rescued in time. Tentatively, we were told they were about 41 people on the boat and the suspected cause of the accident is strong wind and overloading," Mr Hakiza said on Thursday.

The zonal commander Lake Albert marine, Inspector of Police, Samuel Onyango told this reporter that the bodies are for 16 female adults and four children.

However, several people are still feared dead as they are yet to be accounted for.

"Today (Thursday) we have recovered 12 bodies," he said.

Assistant superintendent of police (ASP) Denis Mangeni, however, said 14 bodies were recovered on Wednesday and handed over to their families for burial without postmortem. This puts the figure of the deceased at 26.

 By press time Thursday afternoon, marine police was planning to retrieve the wreckage of the il-fated boat as rescue efforts and search for more bodies continue.

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