• Two die after boat catches fire on Lake Victoria

One of the dead was a nine-year-old boy who was travelling from Buikwe to Buvuma islands.
Eddie Ssejjoba
Journalist @ New vision
One of the dead was a nine-year-old boy who was travelling from Buikwe to Buvuma islands.

Two passengers died while several others are still missing after an engine boat carrying over 20 people and merchandise caught fire on Lake Victoria in Buikwe district. 

The Marine Police confirmed that two bodies, including one of a nine-year-old boy and an operator of the boat locally known as Kinaala were on Saturday night retrieved from the lake.

Godfrey Luyiga, the Ssezibwa Region Marines Officer, said a team of marines personnel was still working with the local fishermen in a search and rescue mission. 

He said the boat was carrying about 22 passengers and had just set off from Ssenyi landing site in Buikwe, heading to Ssamba landing site in Lyabaana, Buvuma islands when one of the engines caught fire. 

He said several passengers fell in the water and managed to swim while others were rescued with injuries. 

The Police were still unable to establish the exact number of survivors since those who were rescued mixed up with people who gathered around the landing site to witness the incident and finally disappeared. 

He said the accident occurred between 12:30pm and 1pm on Saturday.

Another operator of the boat, according to Luyiga, was admitted at Lugazi hospital with serious burns plus several other passengers, including the father of the deceased boy but their names were not yet available. 

"We have been on the lake ever since, working with local fishermen searching for suspected dead bodies but we have not retrieved any.

"Eyewitnesses, however, said there could be others still missing, saying the number of passengers could have been higher than 22," Luyiga said.

He said the majority of passengers were wearing life jackets and this could have been the reason many of them survived. 

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