GOMA – At least 27 people have died and several others are still missing after an overloaded boat capsized on the Mongala River in the country’s northwest, according to Congolese army, FARDC.
The accident occurred on the night of Monday to Tuesday September 18 on the Mongala River, in Mongala province.
The boat had on board several passengers and goods and was heavily crowded, survivors say.
Captain Mak Hazukay, the army spokesperson in the territory of Beni confirmed the accident on Tuesday and said local leaders at the scene have been trying to help in the rescue effort.
Alpha Belo Ngwata, the area administrator said apart from the 27 bodies already recovered, including 12 inhabitants of the area, several missing persons had been registered. The cause of the accident is yet to be known.
Deadly boat accidents are common in Congo, because the country have fewer roads outside of major towns and is carved up by a network of rivers that drain the Congo Basin.
For most people, these rivers are the only means of travel over long distances.
In May this year, 49 people died after a boat capsized on the Congo River in the country’s northwest. The boat was taking people from a village to the city of Mbandaka but capsized.
In February, at least 14 were reported missing when two boats sank in the Congo, the world’s deepest river and the second largest in the world after the Amazon in terms of discharged volume of water.