/ 2 October 2009

Dozens killed in DRC boat accident

About 50 people drowned when an overloaded boat capsized in the west of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), river authorities said Friday, within days of two accidents that claimed about 100 lives.

Early on Tuesday afternoon, the Men Exel capsized with about 100 people on board at the junction of the Inzia and Kwilu rivers in the western Bandundu province, officials said.

”The causes of the shipwreck are not yet known, but there were too many passengers. There were about 50 dead and about the same number who survived,” river commissioner Patrick Musitungu said.

The open boat was loaded with bags of manioc, maize and groundnuts, and should have had no more than 20 passengers on board, he said.

The accident comes after two other shipwrecks on September 13 and 28, which respectively claimed 90 lives on the Congo River in the south-eastern Katanga province and nine lives on a river in the central Kasai oriental province. — AFP