Eighteen passengers have survived a marine accident after a canoe boat in which they were travelling caught fire on a journey from Nkose Island to Kasenyi landing site
The boat caught fire as the coxswain Richard Muswale tried to dock at Mawaala landing site in Mazinga sub-county, Kalangala district to load more passengers.
The boat was loaded with fish worth 40 million Shillings and other merchandise that included timber and a motorcycle. Mawaala LCI chairperson Gerald Kalyango says the boat engine sparked after experiencing a technical problem and lit three jerricans of petrol that were nearby.
Area residents led by Gerald Muwonge alerted the Marine Police outpost at Nkose and the fisheries protection unit to rescue people from the boat. Only 11 passengers had life-saving jackets.
Nathan Abaho, the commander of the Fisheries Protection Unit in Kalangala says that whereas the unit soldiers saved all the occupants of the boat, it was noted that the coxswain transported passengers with an engine in poor mechanical condition.
All the rescued passengers sustained injuries and have been taken to Kalangala health centre IV for immediate treatment.
Gerald Kalyango, the LCI chairperson for Mawaala landing site asked that all passenger boats in Kalangala be instituted with fire extinguishers to easily put out the fire in case of any outbreak.