DRC: Dozens killed, a whole bunch lacking in Congo River boat catastrophe

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At least 60 individuals died after a ship carrying some 700 capsized in Mai-Ndombe province, minister for humanitarian motion says.

Kinshasa, DRC – At least 60 individuals have died and a whole bunch are lacking after a ship capsized within the Congo River in western Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in line with a authorities official.

Steve Mbikayi, minister for humanitarian motion, instructed Al Jazeera on Monday 700 individuals have been on board the vessel that sunk near the village of Longola Ekoti, in Mai-Ndombe province, the earlier night time.

“So far the rescue team has recovered 60 lifeless bodies and 300 survivors. There are still several missing after this shipwreck,” Mbikayi mentioned.

1845802f 0048 476f 98a2 8e96b6276ad1 1Survivors of the boat accident [Courtesy Nestor Wale/Al Jazeera]

The vessel had departed from the capital, Kinshasa, and was heading to Equator province.

“The main cause of the sinking remains the overload of goods and the excess number of passengers in the whaling boat,” the minister mentioned, including “that night navigation also played a role in the sinking”.

Boat accidents are widespread within the huge mineral-rich nation as a result of vessels are sometimes overloaded with passengers and cargo. Most of the passengers travelling on vessels additionally typically don’t put on life jackets.

Last month, at the very least three individuals, two youngsters and one lady, drowned after a passenger boat sank in Lake Kivu.

In May 2020, 10 individuals, together with an eight-year-old woman, died after the leisure boat they have been travelling on capsized in Lake Kivu. In July 2010, greater than 135 individuals died after a ship capsized within the western province of Bandundu.

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