Congo-Kinshasa: DR Congo - Dozens Feared Dead in Boat Accident

The Congo River as it flows past the Maluku commune (file photo).
15 September 2019

A boat carrying passengers and cargo has capsized in the Congo river near Democratic Republic of Congo's capital, Kinshasa. The case is currently under investigation by national police.

At least 36 people are missing after a boat capsized in the Congo river in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on the outskirts of the capital, Kinshasa, police said Sunday.

The vessel carrying passengers and cargo had departed from Mai-Ndombe province in Congo's northwest and was bound for Kinshasa when it sank near the commune of Maluku sometime during Saturday night into early Sunday morning.

Out of an estimated 102 passengers, 76 had been rescued, national police spokesman Pierrot Mwanamputu told Germany's dpa press agency.

The vessel involved in the accident was a "baleiniere," which is French for "whaler." They are commonly-used, flat-bottomed boats measuring between 15 to 30 meters (50 to 100 feet) long by two to six meters wide.

Police said the cause of the accident remains under investigation.

Boat accidents occur regularly in central Africa, mainly due to unmarked waterways, overloading and dilapidated vessels.

(AFP, dpa)

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