Death toll rises in Lake Vic­to­ria boat ac­ci­dent

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - 10 World - AFP— AP XIN­HUA— AP AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

KAM­PALA — Many peo­ple are still miss­ing as the death toll from a boat ac­ci­dent on Lake Vic­to­ria in Uganda on Sat­ur­day has risen to 30, a po­lice spokesper­son said on Sun­day.

Pa­trick Onyango, Uganda’s deputy po­lice spokesper­son, said that joint po­lice and mil­i­tary ma­rine teams, to­gether with lo­cal divers, have res­cued 27 peo­ple.

Two boats cap­sized and com­pletely sub­merged in the deep wa­ters on Lake Vic­to­ria in the cen­tral Ugan­dan district of Mukono.

“Our teams are still try­ing to ei­ther re­trieve dead bod­ies or res­cue some peo­ple alive. But the hopes for find­ing peo­ple still alive is dwin­dling,” said Onyango.

“Many more peo­ple are miss­ing. We fear for the worst. We be­lieve many of them have died. The boat re­port­edly had about 84 peo­ple on board who had gone for week­end par­ty­ing.”

How­ever, one me­dia re­port said the boat was car­ry­ing more than 120 rev­el­ers, be­yond its ca­pac­ity of 100, from the cap­i­tal Kam­pala to Mu­tima Is­land.

The re­port added that a se­cond lo­cal boat which at­tempted a res­cue mis­sion also cap­sized and sub­merged due to over­load­ing.

The spokesper­son said the de­ceased have been taken to Mu­lago Na­tional Re­fer­ral Hos­pi­tal and City Mor­tu­ary for post­mortem.

Some of the dead were

a team of po­lice and of­fi­cials from the for­est de­part­ment, tribal wel­fare de­part­ment and coast guard, Pathak said.

The of­fi­cials took two of the seven peo­ple ar­rested for help­ing Chau get close to the is­land in an ef­fort to de­ter­mine his route and the cir­cum­stances of his death.

The fish­er­men who had taken Chau to the shore saw the tribes­peo­ple drag­ging and bury­ing his body on the morn­ing of Nov 17.

Po­lice say Chau knew that the Sen­tine­lese re­sisted all con­tact by out­siders, fir­ing ar­rows and spears at pass­ing he­li­copters and killing fish­er­men who drift onto their handed over to wail­ing rel­a­tives at the two mor­tu­ar­ies for burial, ac­cord­ing to the po­lice.

Onyango said that the po­lice have launched in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the cause of the in­ci­dent, which will fo­cus on sus­pi­cions of over­load­ing, strong winds or a pos­si­ble me­chan­i­cal prob­lem.

The boat over­turned and sank at about 7 pm on Sat­ur­day night, said se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer Zu­rah Ganyana. She said that 27 peo­ple were res­cued overnight, lower than ear­lier re­ports. Of­fi­cials are warn­ing that the death toll will rise.

Ganyana said the boat was in poor con­di­tion and had been grounded for some time. She added that it did not have

shore. His notes, which were re­ported on Thurs­day in In­dian news­pa­pers and con­firmed by po­lice, make clear he knew he might be killed.

“I DON’T WANT TO DIE,” wrote Chau, who ap­peared to a valid li­cense to op­er­ate.

The boat was tak­ing pas­sen­gers on a plea­sure cruise on Lake Vic­to­ria, a pop­u­lar week­end ac­tiv­ity for young peo­ple in Kam­pala, when it cap­sized close to shore.

Wit­nesses who were there on Sat­ur­day night said they heard peo­ple call­ing for help as they tried to stay afloat and oth­ers tried to swim ashore. Many were women.

“They were shout­ing ‘Help us! Help us!’ and the boat was sink­ing very quickly,” said Sam Tukei, one of sev­eral lo­cal men who used fish­er­men’s ca­noes to res­cue peo­ple. “By the time the po­lice came we had saved many peo­ple.” want to bring Chris­tian­ity to the is­lan­ders. “Would it be wiser to leave and let some­one else to con­tinue. No I don’t think so.”

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