KINSHASA: At least 28 bodies have been recovered from the Congo river, while dozens more people were reported missing after a boat sank in northwest DR Congo, provincial authorities said on Sunday.
The large riverboat, which had left the city of Mbandaka for the Bolomba Territory in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s northwest Equateur province, sunk late on Friday night.
“Dozens of people are still missing and the search is continuing,” Chrispin Mputu, interior minister for the Equateur province, said, confirming the death toll.
The total number of passengers had not yet been established with the official list having “disappeared”, Mputu said in a telephone interview. One civil society organisation put the toll much higher.
“Our teams counted up to 49 bodies yesterday, and this morning, another was recovered from the water, bringing the toll to 50 dead,” Joseph Boyoko Lokondo, a leader of the organisation “Generation consiente (“Conscious Generation “), said. “Up to now, around 100 people are reported missing,” he said, adding that “between 20 to 30 survivors (were) still at the port, they have lost everything”.
The boat “was carrying more than 200 passengers, goods and construction materials” for a government programme, according to Boyoko.
Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2023