At least 60 people have died and hundreds are missing after a boat capsized in the Congo River in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Steve Mbikayi, government Minister for Humanitarian Action, says 700 people were on board the vessel that sunk near the village of Longola Ekoti, on Sunday night.
“So far the rescue team has recovered 60 lifeless bodies and 300 survivors. There are still several missing after this shipwreck,” Mbikayi said in a Tweet.
The vessel was headed for Equator province from the country’s capital Kinshasa.
“The main cause of the sinking remains the overload of goods and the excess number of passengers in the whaling boat,” minister Mbikayi said. “That night, navigation also played a role in the sinking”.
Boats, which are the main mode of transport between the provinces of this vast country, are often overloaded with passengers and cargo. Accidents are common.
Last month, three people died after a passenger boat sank in Lake Kivu.
In May 2020, 10 people, including an eight-year-old girl, died after the leisure boat they were travelling on capsized in Lake Kivu. In July 2010, more than 135 people died after a boat capsized in the western province of Bandundu.