145 people feared dead after Congo boat accident

55 survivors rescued after boat capsizes on Lulonga River, says official

James Tasamba  | 19.01.2023 - Update : 20.01.2023
145 people feared dead after Congo boat accident FILE PHOTO

KIGALI, Rwanda 

Approximately 145 people are missing after a motorized boat capsized earlier this week on a river in the northwestern Congo’s Equateur province, an official said Thursday.

The boat was headed to Lilanga in the neighboring Republic of Congo when it sank on the Lulonga River overnight Tuesday near the town of Basankusu, Jean-Pierre Wangela, the head of civil society groups in the area, told reporters.

He attributed the accident to overcrowding.

“The boat was overloaded with people and goods. It capsized at around midnight causing human losses. There were roughly 200 people on board,” he said. “About 55 people survived the disaster.”

Wangela denounced the poor means of transport in the province which he said leaves residents with no option.

More than 40 people died in October when a boat capsized downstream of Wendji-Secli locality about 20 kilometers (12 miles) southwest of Mbandaka in Equateur.

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