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Death toll in Lake Victoria boat tragedy rises to 23

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By DAILY MONITOR
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By Sunday morning, at least 23 bodies had been recovered from Lake Victoria, where a boat capsized on Saturday afternoon.

The accident occurred at Mpatta Sub-county in Mukono District, Uganda. The initial death toll was 10 and authorities said dozens were missing.

The bodies were taken to Kampala City Mortuary as rescue efforts carried on.

“It is a sad moment. The Uganda People’s Defence Force and the Uganda Police Force marine units [are continuing with the] search and rescue mission for survivors and those who perished in the boat cruise from KK beach,” army spokesperson, Brigadier Richard Karemire, said in a statement.

There was no information on the number of passengers who had been on board at time of the incident and the reason why the vessel sank.

However, reports indicated that at least 100 revellers had been on a cruise.

Police said last night that they had rescued more than 40 people.

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Prince David Wasajja, brother of Buganda King Ronald Mutebi, singer Iryn Namubiru and city businessman John Fredrick Kiyimba, commonly known as Freeman, were among those rescued.

A man identified as Derrick Owekyo, a resident of Mpatta Island in Mukono, died while helping the search and rescue teams.

One of the victims was identified as Sheila Mbonimpa, a mother of three and the wife of former Kampala City Authority (KCCA) staff David Ntege, who died of heart attack in October last year.

Ms Mbonimpa was the sister of UBC TV Deputy Managing Director Maurice Mugisha.

Her last Facebook post was an October 14 photograph of her two daughters.

In September, Tanzania’s MV Nyerere ferry capsized in Lake Victoria leaving at least 224 people dead.

Witnesses told AFP that the ferry sank when passengers rushed to one side to disembark as it approached the dock. Others blamed the captain, saying he had made a brusque manoeuvre.

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