World News

18 Tanzanian children drown in Lake Victoria

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - Eighteen Tanzanian children drowned when their crowded boat capsized in strong winds on Lake Victoria, a regional official said Friday.

Thirty seven people were on board the small boat when it sank Thursday in Africa’s largest lake.

Boats capsize often on Lake Victoria, which is roughly the size of Ireland, due to rough waters and poorly maintained ships.

“All 36 passengers on the boat were primary school pupils. Eighteen of them died,” Mwanza regional commissioner Abbas Kandoro told Reuters by phone. He said 19 were rescued, including a crewman.

“We suspect the cause of the accident was overcrowding of the boat and bad weather.”

Kandoro said rescue workers had so far recovered 13 bodies from the lake which is bordered by Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.

Reporting by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala