19 killed in boat destroyed

cameroonThe passengers were traders at the Guere Market.

AfricaNews reporter said the incident took place when the waves suddenly became violent and the apparently inexperienced young paddlers could not control their vessel amidst yells from the panic-stricken occupants onboard.

Rescue teams are reported to have been immediately mobilized after news of the accident got to Bosgoy - their final destination. However, intervention was hampered by the water currents and the hippopotamus in the lake scared the rescuers.

Six persons were rescued and 18 bodies retrieved from the lake, AfricaNews reporter said. The last body was recuperated only two days later.

Our reporter said the cause of the accident is not yet know however it could be linked to bad weather and overloading. State authorities have ordered an immediate inquiry into the case.

Meanwhile, President Paul Biya has sent a message of condolence to the governor of the Extreme North area following the accident. He expressed sympathy to the bereaved families and dispatched the Minister at the Presidency in charge of the Gendarmerie, Jean Baptist Bokam to visit the families of the victims.

The inhabitants have appealed to the government to develop more secure means of transportation. They argued that, apart from violent storms that frequently wreck canoes in Lake Guerre, at least one person dies each month in the lake as a result of hippopotamus attack.

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