60 feared dead in boat accident

2012-03-04 12:36

Kampala - About 60 people are feared dead after an overloaded boat capsized in stormy waters on Lake Victoria, the area's police chief said on Saturday.

The boat had picked up passengers at Kiyindi, on Africa's largest fresh water lake, on Friday and was heading towards islands further south when strong winds caused it to sink.

So far, out of over 60 people on board, only one survivor has been found, Buvuma Islands district police commander, Aggrey Mugoya said by telephone.

"There were 60 people on board. We have so far got only one survivor. We have not got any other live or dead person. We believe there are dead bodies under water. We expect them to begin floating after three days," Mugoya said.

The disaster occurred in the lake waters between islands forming an archipelago south-east of the Ugandan capital Kampala.

"The boat was overloaded and met strong winds. They threw an anchor to hold it, but the winds were too strong for the anchor ... The boat was overloaded with people and passengers, mainly business people," he added.

Boat accidents which claim dozens of lives are common on Ugandan lakes. Police attribute it to overloading and the use of old, poorly maintained vessels.