One child died and over 20 villagers are missing after a hippopotamus capsized a boat in Malawi on Monday.
Rescue teams are still searching the Shire River in the remote Nsanje district for 23 people who remain unaccounted for from the boat, which was carrying laborers to work the fields when the animal struck, the BBC reported.
Fourteen people were rescued on Monday, but locals failed to save a 1-year-old child who was the youngest person on board, the outlet said.
“Officers have been on the scene since yesterday when the accident was reported, searching for missing persons,” police spokesperson Agnes Zalakoma said.
In addition to hippos, the Shire River is also home to ferocious crocodiles. Local politician Glenda Ganda has repeatedly argued for a bridge to be constructed over the waterway to prevent similar boating tragedies.
Often weighing in at well over 2,000 pounds, hippos are the second largest land animal after elephants. They are responsible for about 500 deaths in Africa every year, the BBC said.