South Sudan probes deaths of 10 people in boat capsize

Flag of South Sudan with flare and dark blue sky

South Sudanese authorities on Friday ordered an investigation after ten people including five children died after a boat capsized last week in the Kaka Tjiraria area on the White Nile River in the Upper Nile region.

Chol Atem, the police commissioner of Upper Nile state, said 12 people, including seven children from one family, drowned in the river, and two bodies remained missing.

“A boat capsized last Sunday in Kaka Tijaria area in Upper Nile region where 10 people including five children died and two others are still missing,” he said. The boat was carrying 28 passengers on board and traveling to Malakal.

He said the cause of the incident is unclear but he suspected that the boat might have been overloaded.

“The bodies were collected from different parts along the River Nile, and search operations continue to retrieve the two remaining bodies,” Atem told Xinhua by phone in Juba.

He said investigations into the accident are ongoing, adding that the authorities in the area have temporarily suspended riverboat transport with immediate effect.

Atem said the local authorities have warned boats’ unions not to mix passengers with cargo to avoid future occurrence of similar accidents.