At least 36 drown in Tanzania boat capsize
Ignas Mbinga, the regional police commander for western Tanzania, said only nine people survived the accident.india Updated: Apr 05, 2006 14:58 IST
At least 36 people drowned when their boat capsized during a heavy storm on Lake Victoria, Tanzanian officials said on Wednesday.
Ignas Mbinga, the regional police commander for western Tanzania, said only nine people survived the accident, which occurred when heavy winds and waves swamped and caused the fishing boat to keel over.
He said the accident happened last Thursday between Lake Victoria's western Murumba and Mugnaza islands, but was reported only at the weekend when search and rescue operations began.
"A total of 36 bodies were recovered as of Tuesday," Mbinga told the agency from Kagera, about 700 kilometers from Tanzania's commercial capital of Dar Es Salaam.
He said the search operation had been delayed and then hampered due to the remoteness of the area where the vessel -- which was not authorised to carry passengers -- capsized.
"Some survivors also said the boat was overloaded with about 40 passengers and a lot of cargo," Mbinga said, adding that the search was called off late Tuesday and that no more bodies were expected to be recovered.
It was the third boat capsize incident in Tanzanian waters in Lake Victoria this year. Some 14 people were killed in a January accident and 18 in one the next month.