At least 50 dead in DRC shipwreck

2011-07-29 20:02
Kinshasa - At least 50 people drowned and some 35 are reported missing after a boat accident on a river in the northwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Equateur province government said on Friday.

The vessel, which was wrecked late on Wednesday, was carrying at least 200 passengers and "up to yesterday [Thursday] we counted 115 survivors and 50 bodies fished from the water with difficulty", the government spokesperson told AFP. "The others are certainly lost or were dragged down by the water."

The large motorised barge, which was also carrying goods, collided during the night with another boat, which was empty, on the Tshuapa river, 115km east of the provincial capital Mbandaka, spokesperson Rebecca Ebale Nguma said.

"The boat's manifesto indicated that 200 people were on board, but some of the survivors say there were about 350 people," Nguma added.

Overloading boats is a common practice in the DRC, and is also one of the main causes of the many shipwrecks in the vast central African country, which is studded with lakes and rivers. The mighty Congo river itself is one of the main transport routes.

Accidents are also caused by the bad or absent signposting of waterways, the inexperience of pilots and the lack of lights on boats. Many vessels carry no lifebelts or lifejackets.

After a spate of accidents on waterways at the end of April and early in May, transport minister Marie-Laure Kawanda was sacked from her post.

Read more on:    drc  |  central africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy

Miley's new dog is too adorable.



13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher
The unusual pets of Instagram
Bertie sets a new world record!

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The Leo moon adds an element of drama and entertainment. A significant person that you may consult or confide in may play more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.