No fewer than 29 persons have been confirmed dead after a cruise boat carrying party revelers capsized on Lake Victoria in Uganda. Unconfirmed reports have it that about 35 persons died in the boat mishap.
The vessel was carrying about 100 people at the weekend when it sank off Uganda’s Mukono district near Uganda’s capital, Kampala
Ugandan media named a number of well-known people said to be on the boat, adding that the prince of a traditional kingdom had survived.
Lake Victoria sees regular accidents, often involving overcrowded vessels.
Deputy police spokesman Patrick Onyango told Reuters news agency: “The boat was overloaded and secondly there was bad weather.”
Police authorities said, more than 20 people have been rescued from the water, but an unknown number remained missing.
The families and friends of some of the people involved gathered by the shoreline. They sat under trees, looking through the wire fence and every time a body was pulled out of the water, there were screams and cries as some people recognised their loved ones.
On the grass some personal items were laid out – shoes, sweaters, wallets, keys – anything that could be used to identify the victims. Overhead the police deployed a helicopter to help search for more bodies that might have washed up by the shoreline – but they have given up hope that they will find any more survivors.
Among those rescued was Prince Daudi Kintu Wasajja, a brother of the king of Uganda’s largest traditional kingdom, Buganda.