120 missing in Congo River
At least 49 people were killed and 120 others are missing after a boat capsized Saturday on a river in northwest Congo, according to an official.
The accident occurred in Mbandaka city on the Congo River in Equateur Province, according to provincial Deputy Governor Taylor Nganzi.
“The boat was traveling to Bolomba, a territory more than 300 kilometers (186 miles) from the port of Bankita in Mbandaka city when it tipped over at night, which is illegal,” Nganzi told reporters.
“On board were passengers and cargo which included construction materials,” he said. “The search for the missing is ongoing.”
Nganzi said the dead included children, noting the death toll was provisional.
The accident was attributed to overloading.
The private boat was carrying 500 bags of cement and iron bars, according to witnesses.
River transport is common in the Congo due to mostly impassable roads, but vessels are prohibited from traveling at night to minimize accidents.