At least 26 feared dead in DRC boat accident

2018-07-18 16:33


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Eleven people died and 15 are missing after an overloaded boat with around 100 people onboard capsized on the Congo River, local officials said on Wednesday.

The accident occurred overnight on Monday in Basoko territory in the northeast province of Tshopo, the district's administrator, Sabrina Dako, told AFP.

The motorised craft "was travelling at night without lights, hit a rock and capsized," said Epis Lombo, an official in the town of Lokutu.

Accidents on the Democratic Republic of Congo's rivers and lakes - vital arteries for transport in a country where roads are poor - are frequent and often inflict a high loss of life.

Many vessels are poorly maintained, lack life jackets or are overladen, and often defy a ban on small vessels travelling at night. In addition, many Congolese do not know how to swim.

In May, 50 people died in remote Tshuapa province on the Momboyo River.

In February at least 14 were reported missing when two boats sank on the Congo, the world's deepest river and the second largest in the world after the Amazon in terms of discharged volume of water.

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