Boat mishaps claim over 80 lives in western Democratic Republic of Congo, as 200 survive


KINSHASHA – At least 40 people have drowned after a passenger boat capsized on a river in western Democratic Republic of Congo, a week after 47 others died in a similar accident.

The wooden riverboat, known as a whaler, was carrying passengers and goods, when it capsized on the Lulonga river on Saturday night.

The incident happened near Boyeka village in Equateur province, the BBC reported.

The passengers, mostly traders, were returning from a local market crossing to Mbandaka, the province’s capital.

The death toll could rise as more passengers are reported missing.

More than 200 others survived, local media reported.

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The accident comes ten days after another boat capsized in the same province, killing dozens and an unknown number of people are still missing.

Boats are a common mode of transport in DR Congo because of the lack of roads However accidents are frequent because of overloading, a lack of maintenance and travelling at night.

Many passengers also do not wear life jackets.

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