A Ugandan boat capsized on Lake Albert during a Christmas Day party, drowning at least 30 members of a village soccer team and some of their fans.
Authorities said that police officers were able to rescue 15 people with the help of local fishermen in the area, according to Agence France-Presse. The group was traveling from the village of Kaweibanda in the western Buliisa District to watch a match in the Hoima District, the news agency noted.
"There was a party on the boat, the passengers were dancing and others were drunk," police commander John Rutagira told AFP. "The boat was overloaded with 45 people, all members of the football team and local fans."
"The water was calm but the problem came in when the merrymaking team and fans tilted on one side of the boat . . . It capsized, killing about 30 people," Rutagira continued.
BBC News reported that such boat accidents, like the one on Lake Albert, are fairly common in Africa, where boats in poor condition are oftentimes packed with too many people or goods.
According to AFP, about 20 people died on Friday when a boat went down in similar circumstances on Lake Victoria. Ten people drowned in Lake Albert on the water body's western shore in November, BBC News noted.
Lake Albert, one of the largest lakes in Africa, runs for about 100 miles and is about 21 miles wide. The lake sits along the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to LonelyPlanet.com.
The website said oil was recently discovered under the lake's surface. Tullow Oil, based in London, states on its website that it is conducting a multi-year program to assess the oil's impact on the area.
"[Lake Albert] is one of Africa's most important sites for the conservation of biodiversity and has been designated so by Birdlife International, the World Wildlife Fund, and Conservation International," the Tullow website reads.
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