At least 20 Xmas travellers drown in Uganda boat accident

Relatives and friends wait during the second day of rescue operations after a boat carrying mostly Congolese refugees capsized in Lake Albert along the Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo border, March 23, 2014. At least 19 people were killed and dozens of others were missing on Saturday after a boat carrying mostly Congolese refugees capsized in a lake that runs along the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, police said. Local fishermen and nearby passenger boats helped pull 43 survivors from the water but at least another 34 people were missing and feared dead, police said. REUTERS/Edward Echwalu (UGANDA - Tags: DISASTER)

Kampala – At least 20 people were killed when their boat capsized on Friday in Lake Victoria as it was carrying passengers to mainland Uganda for Christmas holidays, police said.

The vessel was travelling from Bukasa island to the coastal town Entebbe when it flipped for reasons that are still unclear.

“About 20 confirmed dead, 10 have been rescued”, area police commander Richard Musisi told AFP. “Of the 20 who died we have managed to retrieve four bodies from the lake.”

“We can’t at the moment put a finger on what happened. Whether it was overload or the waves”, he said adding none of the passengers were wearing life jackets.

Bukasa’s inhabitants are largely fishermen and farmers. It is a favourite for foreign tourists, though none were among the dead.

Deadly accidents are common on Ugandan waters. In November about 10 people drowned when a boat capsized on Lake Albert in northeast Uganda.