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Malawi. A hippo attacked a boat on the Shire River. A one-year-old child is dead, 23 people are being searched for

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A hippo attacked a boat carrying 37 villagers in Malawi. A dozen people were rescued, but 23 people are still being sought. Rescuers found the body of a small child. Many crocodiles and hippos live in the river where the accident occurred.

According to CNN, the accident happened on Monday morning. 37 residents of the Nsansje district in Malawi, Africa, near the border with Mozambique, were traveling by boat along the Shire River. At one point, a hippo attacked them, causing the boat to capsize.

Agnes Zalakoma, a spokeswoman for the local police, said the 23 passengers had still not been found and it is feared they died in the river. Rescuers have already found the body of a one-year-old child. 13 people managed to swim safely to the shore or were rescued by witnesses of the accident. The services are still combing the river in search of the others, although the chances of finding them alive are dwindling.

Hippos in the Shire River, MalawiShutterstock

SEE ALSO: Human remains in a crocodile’s belly. “A noise, a scream, then a splash of water”

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The villagers were trying to get to their fields

Zalakoma stressed that crossing the river was very risky, similar accidents are relatively common in this area. “It’s dangerous because the river is too shallow and there are crocodiles that attack people and hippos that cause accidents like this,” she said.

According to local politician Gladys Gandy, the villagers were trying to get across the river to their fields, which are located nearby on Malawi’s border with Mozambique. The BBC reminds that Gandy has repeatedly called for the construction of the bridge so that local residents do not have to risk their lives to get to the other side of the river. However, this has not yet been realized.

The Shire is the largest river in Malawi. It is full of hippos and crocodiles. The boats used by locals are often overcrowded or in poor condition.

SEE ALSO: Alligator attack. He was cruising around the campsite with a human leg in his mouth

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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