World, Africa

Democratic Republic of Congo: 15 die in canoe accident

Boat sinks due to overloading in country where over 100 people died in last two years

Godfrey Olukya   | 16.03.2020
Democratic Republic of Congo: 15 die in canoe accident

KAMPALA, Uganda

A total of 15 people have died in a canoe accident today on river Lukuga in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

According to police and eyewitnesses, at least 15 people, mostly students, perished today after the makeshift canoe they were traveling on river Lukuga in the DRC.

Police officer, Sergeant Pecos Makanga of Nyemba village police said: ''We got information that the boat was carrying at least 30 people when it overturned. Among those on the boat were children going to school."

Makanga said the accident took place at a place called Nyemba, in Tanganyika province, about 200 kilometers west of Kalemie, the province's capital.

He said that 15 people were rescued by fishermen but the other 15 are unaccounted for and their bodies are being looked for.

Makanga added that so far at least 7 bodies have been recovered.

One of the eyewitnesses, also the leader of a local NGO called Nyemba civil society, Modeste Atibu said: "The boat sunk due to overloading. We managed to rescue people 15 and we are looking for the bodies of those who have died."

He said that ever since the Ferry locally called Nyemba ferry broke down, the residents of Nyemba have been using the makeshift canoe to transport them and their goods on river Lukuga.

Water accident is very common in the Democratic Republic of Congo with over 100 people dying in the last 2 years.

Among such boat, accidents were the one which occurred on September 15th, 2019 in which 34 people perished. On 31st July 11 people died in a boat accident in the Kasai region.

On May 25, 2018, 50 people died when the boat they were traveling on river Momboyo capsized.

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