DR Congo Boat Sinking: 145 People Are Feared Dead



(CTN NEWS) – KINSHASA, Congo –  Authorities said on Thursday that at least 145 passengers have been reported missing and are presumed dead after a motorized boat laden with goods and animals capsized during the night on a river in the northwestern part of the Congo.

According to the officials, there were around 55 persons who survived the accident.

When it drowned on Tuesday evening on the Lulonga River close to Basankusu, the boat was en route to the Republic of Congo, located in the neighboring country.

At least 145 persons have been reported missing, according to Jean-Pierre Wangela, the president of civil society groups in the region, who spoke with the media.

The democratic Republic of Congo authorities say 145 people are missing after a boat sank (file image). (AP PHOTO) Credit: AP

He said that overcrowding was to blame for the boat’s sinking but acknowledged that residents have few other choices.

“At this time, there is not another mode of transportation available in our province or our area of Basankusu land,” he stated.

In isolated areas of the Congo, where it is difficult or impossible to get by road, it is all too frequent for boats to capsize, resulting in the deaths of scores of people.

Many boats are carrying an excessive amount of cargo in addition to passengers who cannot swim. In more rural sections of the country, the scope of rescue activities is highly restricted.

More than forty persons were killed on the Congo River in Equateur province in October due to similar circumstances.


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