Child dead and 23 people missing after hippo capsizes canoe in Malawi

A one-year-old child has died and 23 people are missing and feared dead after a hippopotamus charged into and capsized a canoe on a river in southern Malawi, authorities said.

The long wooden canoe was carrying 37 people across the Shire River on their way to neighbouring Mozambique when it was hit by the hippo in the Nsanje District on Monday.

Malawian police rescued 13 people with the help of World Food Programme personnel who were working in the area and provided boats for the rescue operation, Nsanje District Police Commissioner Dominic Mwandira said.

The people are feared dead because the search has been going on for more than 24 hours, police spokeswoman Agnes Zalakoma said.

Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera sent minister of water and sanitation Abida Mia to the scene.

She said locals told her hippos often caused problems in the area and they wanted authorities to relocate some of the animals.

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