Eight bodies have been recovered after a boat enroute to Karenge on January 26 capsized in Lake Mugesera.
The Police Spokesperson in Eastern Province, SP Hamdun Twizeyimana said the unfortunate incident happened when the overloaded wooden boat sank, drowning 40 passengers on board.
The boat operated by COODURAM, a local cooperative, was licensed to carry only 15 passengers but it was carrying more than 40, and their cargo, when the accident happened.
Twizeyimana said the disaster occurred during a trip from Rukumberi in Ngoma District to Karenge in Rwamagana.
He said: “A boat carrying over 40 people capsized in a boat accident while carrying mostly farmers from Rukumberi to Karenge. The boat was allowed to carry 15 people according to the insurance form, but it was carrying more than 40 by the time of the tragedy.
Eight people perish in boat accident along Mugesera Lake, the wooden boat with an insurance of 15, had 40 farmers on board causing imbalances and later capsizing, according to Police
“Marine security officers rescued 31 people. Six were found dead; these include five adults and a child, and two others [dead bodies] were retrieved in the morning hours of January 27.”
Rescuers moved the corpses to Rwamagana Hospital for a postmortem, while the wounded survivors were taken to Karenge Health Centre, he noted, as the marine rescue team at the scene continued to work “tirelessly to locate and retrieve the missing.”
The police urged water transport companies in the region to stick to the strict regulations for water transport; wear protective jackets, use motor boats, and avoid overloading, while sending condolences to families who lost their beloved ones.
Water is a common means of commuting in Eastern Province as it boasts nine lakes in different districts.