Kinshasa: At least 98 people died when a boat capsized on Lake Albert, which lies between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said on Monday.
"Based on information UNHCR has received so far from the authorities and refugees, 41 people were rescued and 98 bodies recovered" after Saturday`s disaster, the refugee agency said in a statement.
"As many as 250 people may have been aboard the boat," added the UNHCR, which reported that the vessel had been transporting Congolese refugees returning to their homeland from Uganda.
The Ugandan media on Saturday reported 19 deaths in the accident.
The boat that sank was "one of two that left from Hoima district on the eastern (Ugandan) side of the lake on Saturday morning, carrying refugees who had been living at Kyangwali refugee settlement but were heading back home to eastern DRC of their own accord," the UNHCR said.
The survivors were taken to the Bundibugyo district, to the southwest of the lake, where they have been taken under the wing of the Ugandan state and the UNHCR and its partner agencies, according to the statement.
Relatives have come from the DRC in a bid to identify family members at the nearest hospital.