Rescuers recover two bodies of four missing pupils in boat accident in Kigoma

Overturned boat at the shore. Rescuers on Saturday recovered two bodies of four missing pupils in Luiche River. [iStockphoto]

Rescuers have recovered two bodies of four pupils who went missing on Friday after a boat in which they were travelling to school capsized in a crocodile and hippo-infested river in Tanzania's western region of Kigoma, an official said on Saturday.

Jacob Chacha, the commander of the Tanzania Fire and Rescue Force in Kigoma region, said the two bodies were recovered 24 hours after the boat had capsized in the Luiche River at 7:30 a.m. on Friday.

"The bodies of an eight-year-old Standard Two pupil and a 12-year-old Standard Five pupil were found floating near Lake Tanganyika," Chacha told a news conference. The river flows into Lake Tanganyika.

He said rescuers were still searching for the other two missing pupils.

Salum Kali, the Kigoma district commissioner, said on Friday four out of six primary school pupils were reported missing after the incident, adding two pupils and the captain of the boat were rescued shortly after the boat had capsized.

Kali said preliminary investigations showed that the boat capsized after it was hit by strong waves.