NYAMASHEKE - Three people died while over 40 others sustained injuries after a boat they were traveling in capsized in Lake Kivu, last Sunday.
Police confirmed the accident and said it occurred at around 7. am.
The deceased all girls, were identified as Julienne Habimfura, Belthilde Ntezimana, and Marthe Nzabandora, all aged 17. They died shortly after being rescued.
Those who sustained serious injuries were admitted at Kibogora Hospital in Kanjongo sector also in the same district.
According to police, the victims, all residents of Nyamasheke District, were part of the Catholic youths from Cyato, Rangiro and Karengera sectors who were heading for Nyabitekeri to attend mass.
“Our investigation shows that the accident was due to overloading and the boat driver was inexperienced,” police said, adding that the driver, Gaspard Ngoga, who is also the boat owner, is still on the run.
According to police he is suspected to have fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Sources said Ngoga, was not a registered member among the transporters on Lake Kivu.
And had not provided life jackets for his passengers.
The Executive Secretary of Kagano Sector, Anani Niyibeshaho, said that there were over 100 passengers aboard.
He said those who survived were rescued by fishermen and the area residents who intervened shortly after the accident.