Tanzanian Police Revise Death Toll in Boat Accident
Police in Tanzania's northern region of Mwanza said Sunday that 20 people had drowned when a boat was hit by strong winds and capsized in its section of Lake Victoria on Wednesday.
Initial police reports had put the death toll at 30.
"We are still conducting the search ... until Saturday only three bodies had been found," Mwanza Regional Police Commander Eliah Kihengu said, when reached by telephone on Sunday.
Kihengu said Sunday that the small wooden boat, the MV Kumbukumbu, which was travelling from Kahunda to Meisome islands, had a capacity of 45 passengers, but had 71 people on board at the time of the accident.
Kihengu said 51 of the boat passengers were rescued by fishermen.
"It is now suspected that 20 people might have drowned, but only three bodies have so far been recovered and 17 people are not accounted for. I don't have any developments due to communication problems. It is very difficult to get up-to-date reports," he said.
There are more than 400 fishing and transport vessels operating on the Tanzanian side of Lake Victoria and most of them are unsafe, as they usually overload passengers and cargo, Kihengu added -- DAR ES SALAAM (AFP)
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