Dozens dead, hundreds missing after boat capsizes in DRC

The boat had left the Democratic Republic of Congo capital of Kinshasa heading north up the Congo River before capsizing Sunday night. Image courtesy of Google Maps

Feb. 16 (UPI) — Dozens of people died after a boat carrying hundreds of passengers capsized in the Congo River, officials said.

Steve Mbikayi, the Democratic Republic of Congo minister for humanitarian action, said via Twitter on Monday that the boat, overloaded with 700 people, capsized in Mai-Ndombe province in western DRC on Sunday night.

At least 60 bodies have been recovered while hundreds of people are still missing, he said, adding some 300 survivors have been found.

“We sympathize with the bereaved families and demand sanctions against all those responsible,” he said.

Mbikayi told Al Jazeera on Monday that the boat, which departed from the capital Kinshasa, sank near Longola Ekoti village en route to Equateur province in northwestern DRC.

“The main cause of the sinking remains the overload of goods and the excess number of passengers in the whaling boat,” he said.

Navigating the boat at night may have also played a factor in its sinking, he added.


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