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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 November, 2003, 09:54 GMT
Zambia ferry tragedy 'kills 40'
A boat has capsized in northern Zambia, killing up to 40 people.

More than 20 bodies have already been recovered and 11 survivors have been found, a police spokeswoman said.

Reports say that the wooden boat, reportedly overloaded with fishermen and traders, capsized on Monday after being hit by high winds on Lake Mweru.

"Most of the people who drowned are women and children who jumped into the water," said Deputy Home Affairs Minister Kennedy Sakeni.

He said that news had only just reached the capital, Lusaka due to poor communications.

'Complaints ignored'

A six-month-old baby and boys aged three and five were among those who died, said police spokeswoman Brenda Muntemba.

"The Zambia army are helping to retrieve the remaining bodies," she said.

"We had complained to the crew that the boat was overloaded but nothing was done," one of the survivors, Kennedy Kaunda told the state-run news agency.

"Strong winds started just as we were about to reach Isokwe Island ... then the boat capsized," he said.

In September, 18 people were killed on the Zambezi River in southern Zambia, when a ferry capsized under the weight of a truck carrying copper concentrates.

Zambezi ferry bodies found
18 Sep 03  |  Africa
Country profile: Zambia
13 Aug 03  |  Country profiles

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