Footballers among 30 dead after boat capsizes in Uganda

9 people dead, 21 missing after a boat capsizes in Lake Albert, Uganda; victims were footballers and fans traveling to a friendly football.

At least 30 Ugandan members of a village football team and their fans drowned on Sunday when their boat capsized on Lake Albert during a party, police said Monday.

"The water was calm but the problem came in when the merrymaking team and fans tilted on one side of the boat. It capsized killing about 30 people," police commander John Rutagira told AFP.

The cause of the accident is believed to be overloading, according to police. He said the fishing boat was supposed to carry only 18 people instead of the 45.

“So far, we have only recovered nine bodies out of the 45 who were on board the boat. We can say 15 people have been rescue,” John said.

Police officers working with local fishermen managed to rescue 15 of the revellers, who were heading from the village of Kaweibanda in the western Buliisa District to watch a friendly Christmas Day match in Hoima District, Rutagira said.

The accident was the second major disaster on Uganda’s lakes in three days. On Friday, about 20 people perished in similar circumstances on Lake Victoria.

Fatal accidents are frequent on Ugandan waters. Last November, 10 people drowned in Lake Albert on the country’s western shore.

 

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